On numerous occasions when talking to people, I find they are confused about what they are looking for when it comes to Medicaid vs Medicare. I will explain the differences here. And to add to your confusion before I explain it, you may be eligible for both!
The quick answer is Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage, if you are 65 and older or have a severe disability, no matter your income. Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage, if you have a very low income or disabilities.
The primary difference between Medicaid and Medicare is in who's eligible for each program.
Medicare is health insurance for anyone that worked at least 10 years paying Medicare taxes and is 65 or older, anyone with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. or Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). Income is not a consideration in qualifying for Medicare. If you're married and your spouse fulfilled the 10-year work requirement, then you can usually receive Medicare benefits as well.
Medicaid helps cover medical costs for people with limited income and limited financial resources. Medicaid, also covers anyone that qualifies while living with a disability. Keep in mind that some of those who qualify for Medicaid won't qualify for Medicare and vice versa.
If you are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligible individuals), you can have both, and they will work together to provide you with health coverage at no cost or very low cost to you.