Medicare vs. Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are terms you often hear together. That’s because both are government programs. However, they work differently. Dual Special Needs Plans include Medicare and Medicaid benefits. People may qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or both, depending on their situation. Let’s go over how each of these plans work.

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Here's how to help understand the difference between these two government programs.


Medicare is a national health insurance program run by the federal government. Medicare covers people age 65 and older and some people under age 65 who may qualify due to a disability or another special situation. There are 4 different parts to Medicare. This helps give people more health care choices, so they can pick the health care plan that best meets their needs.


Medicaid is a way to get health care at a lower cost or sometimes at no cost to you. Medicaid is managed by each state, so the eligibility requirements can change from state to state. Your state may even have its own name for its Medicaid program.

Eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid?

Dual Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) are for people who could use some extra help. That may be because of income, disabilities, age and/or health conditions. Dual eligible health plans are a special type of Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan. You’ll keep all your Medicaid benefits. Plus, you could get more benefits than with Original Medicare. And you could get it all for a $0 plan premium.

Explore more health insurance plans

If you’re looking for other types of coverage, we offer a wide range of health insurance plans made to fit a variety of budgets and needs.

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Find short term health insurance

During times of transition, short term health insurance can help you fill a gap in coverage from 1 month to just under a year.1