Depending on your state, age and a few other factors, you may be able to get free or cheap health insurance through Medicare and Medicaid.
Unfortunately, many Americans are unsure about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Others automatically assume that they are not eligible for low-cost health insurance through these programs.
In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that as many as 6 million Americans are eligible for Medicaid and are not enrolled. This makes learning about these programs essential for anyone who wants affordable health coverage.
The main difference between Medicare and Medicaid is that Medicare is a type of insurance primarily for seniors while Medicaid is an assistance program for low-income people.
The rules for Medicare health insurance are the same everywhere. Usually, you can enroll when you are 65 regardless of how much you make. Medicare health plans cover hospitalization, outpatient care and prescriptions. It can also be combined with supplemental private insurance.
The rules for Medicaid, on the other hand, change depending on where you live.
In many states that chose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, anyone who makes less than a certain amount can enroll. In other states, however, you must be either pregnant, disabled, elderly or a minor to receive Medicaid coverage.
Once you enroll in Medicaid, you will receive free or cheap coverage for hospitalizations, outpatient care, laboratory services, checkups, X-rays, nursing care and more.