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Medicare vs Medicaid

It seems like potential cuts to Medicaid are all over the news lately. People who confuse Medicare and Medicaid are obviously concerned. This is easy to do because they both can be related to a person’s health insurance. Although they coordinate in many ways, they are two distinctive programs.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program. There are three ways to qualify for Medicare. The first way is to be 65 years of age or older. The second way is to have been on Social Security disability for at least 24 months. The third way to qualify for Medicare is be any age and have either end-stage renal disease or ALS. Medicare is not income based as far as qualifying. As long as you meet one of the three requirements above you will qualify for Medicare. Your income, however, can affect the amount you pay for your Part B premium. Medicaid is a state health insurance program. Medicaid is income and resource based, meaning you will qualify or not according to how much money you make and/or how much money you have saved. In 2023 if you made less than $1,235 as an individual or $1,664 as a couple you could qualify for Medicaid. Whereas Medicare has deductibles and coinsurance, Medicaid will take care of most of your healthcare cost. A person on Medicaid can also get a break on how much they pay on their prescription drugs. Medicare and Medicaid will coordinate in a couple of ways. In some counties in north Alabama there is a Medicare plan that will coordinate with Medicaid. To qualify for this plan you must be on Medicare and Medicaid. This is referred to as “dual eligible”. Also, if you make more than the Medicaid limits but are under $1,822 as an individual or $2,465 as a couple you may qualify for “extra help”. This would help you on your prescription drug cost.

If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at

Alabama Health Guidance is an independent insurance agency and is not affiliated with Medicare or any other government agency.


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