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Medicare and Medicaid – two big government programs with very similar names.  It’s not surprising that many people are confused.


Medicare is national health insurance provided by the Federal Government.

Medicare is health insurance, just like any other medical plan.  It covers hospitals, doctors, rehab, and other medical providers.  

Medicare, however, does not provide for long-term care, such as home health aides or nursing home care.



Medicaid is a partnership between the Federal Government and each State.    Funding comes from both the Federal and State governments.

Because each State has a lot of discretion regarding its Medicaid program, there are significant differences among the States.   New York’s program is the best funded, and the most friendly to seniors and people who are disabled.

Unlike Medicare, you have to be financially eligible for the Medicaid program.  Medicaid benefits include both medical care and long-term care.

If you are on Medicaid, you do not have to give up your Medicare and will probably want to keep it.

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