There are two medical programs run by the U.S. government. One, Medicare, is paid for contributions from workers' paychecks. The cost of the means-tested program for low-income folks, Medicaid, is split between the federal and state governments, though their general funds.
Medicare pays for most of the cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, doctors' visits, labratory expenses, prescription drugs, and much other medical care for older and disabled Americans, but it still leaves almost half of all medical costs unpaid. Most people need a medigap insurance policy or Medicare managed care plan (Medicare Part C) to cover the gaps in Medicare.
For those with low income and assets, Medicaid can pay for medical expenses for who don't qualify for Medicare—or can cover the gaps in Medicare for those who do.
Medicare and Medicaid: What's the Difference?
Medicare and Medicaid coverage explained.
Current Federal Poverty Level for Determining Eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid Benefits - 2013
Here are the FPLs for each state, plus the multiples on which many federal and state benefits are based.
Medicaid Basics: Eligibility and Coverage
Medicaid is a program that provides very low-cost or free health care to some adults and children with limited incomes.
When Medicaid in North Carolina Will Pay for Long-Term Care in a Nursing Home
In North Carolina, Medicaid is a common source of funding for long-term care, particularly when people have already used up all of their own assets to pay for private care.
Safe Ways to Spend Down Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid
Many individuals who apply for Medicaid find that they have too many assets to qualify.
How to Appeal a Denial of Medicaid (Non-Eligibility)
If you applied for Medicaid and your state Medicaid agency denied your application, then you can appeal the denial.
Learn about Medicare eligibility and coverage.
Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facility Stays
A growing number of patients recovering from surgery or a major illness are referred by their doctors to skilled nursing facilities.
Medicare Savings Programs Help Pay Medicare Costs for Qualified Low-Income Individuals
The QMB, SLMB, and QI programs help pay Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. Learn how to qualify.
Services Not Covered by Medicare Part B
The categories of medical treatment and services listed below are not covered by Medicare.