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Medicaid vs. Medicare

Not sure which one you are eligible for? Learn about key differences between Medicaid and Medicare.  

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Understanding the differences

Medicaid and Medicare are two different types of public health insurance programs. There are differences in who is eligible and what is covered.

Who is eligible?


Medicaid is a public health insurance plan for low-income people or people with disabilities. People of any age can be on Medicaid.

Medicaid is free or low cost, and it is run by both the state and the federal government. The federal government asks every state to give members the same set of basic benefits.

Each state runs its own Medicaid program and decides who is eligible. Some states will cover anyone below a certain income level. You may need to meet other requirements to qualify for Medicaid in your state.

Many states choose to team up with private health insurance companies, like Humana, to support their members with extra benefits and services.

Find out if Medicaid is the right fit for you. Check with your state Medicaid plan to learn how to enroll.

Florida State Enrollment Site (AHCA) , opens new window

Illinois Gold Plus Integrated , opens new window

Kentucky State Enrollment Site (Kynect) , opens new window

Ohio Department of Medicaid , opens new window

South Carolina Healthy Connections , opens new window


Medicare is a federal health insurance program open to most people aged 65 and older. It is sometimes open to those under 65 with disabilities.

People who are eligible for Medicare can get it directly through the federal government. They can also choose to purchase a Medicare plan through a private health insurance company like Humana.

Like Medicaid, every Medicare plan is required by law to give the same basic benefits. Private health insurance plans, like Humana’s, often add extra benefits and services for members.

Learn more about Medicare

What if I’m eligible for Medicaid and Medicare?

It is possible that you might qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. People who qualify for both health insurance plans are called dual eligible.

If you are dual eligible, your Medicare and Medicaid plans will work together to give you the best coverage for your needs.

Most of your healthcare services will be covered by Medicare. Medicare will be your primary plan. Your Medicaid plan will cover services and benefits that Medicare does not.

See Medicaid-Medicare dual plans