What is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare and Medicaid sound alike, and many people use them interchangeably. However, they are very different programs. Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage to insured workers who are age 65 or older or who have a disability. Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to persons with low income and, for some Medicaid programs, limited assets. Also, unlike Medicare, which is totally federal, Medicaid is a joint state-federal program. Each state operates its own Medicaid system, but this system must conform to federal guidelines in order for the state to receive federal money, which pays for about half the state’s Medicaid costs.

Medicare Coverage of Skilled Care

Learn how, and when Medicare will pay for skilled care.

Medicare Publications

Medicare has many helpful booklets, available online and in print, dealing with coverage and other aspects of Medicare. Click here to go to the publications page on

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