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Who Can Get Medicare and Medicaid

The choice of insurance is a complex and not always clear process. Photo:

The choice of insurance is a complex and not always clear process. Photo:

Typically, residents of the United States of America pay for health care themselves, either directly or through insurance.

Medicare and Medicaid are health insurance programs for people aged 65 and older, people with disabilities, and people with persistent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation.

Because of consonance, people often confuse them.

ForumDaily offers to understand the difference between the two types of programs.

Medicare Program

Medicare will pay for primary care and certain services if you are sick or injured.

The Medicare program consists of three parts: part A, part B, and part D.

  • Part A is hospital insurance to help cover the treatment of hospital patients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and home treatment. Most people do not pay insurance premiums for part A, because Medicare is paid during work. If you are not eligible for part A without the insurance premium, then you may be entitled to purchase part A if certain conditions are met.
  • Part B - medical insurance that helps cover services such as medical services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home medical care and other medical services, as well as some preventive services. Participation in Part B of the Medicare program provides for a monthly fee.
  • Part D is a prescription drug coverage that helps cover the cost of certain drugs prescribed by doctors for treatment. Subscribing to Part D of the Medicare program is voluntary; its use implies an additional monthly premium.

If certain criteria are met, permanent residents of the United States can receive Medicare services: Part A, Part B, and Part D.

Permanent residents of the United States who have turned 65 or more years automatically subscribe to Part A of the Medicare program when they start receiving a pension from the social insurance fund. If you are not 65 years old, but you are eligible to participate in the program for other reasons, contact your nearest social security office for information on enrollment.

Generally, you must have worked in the United States for a total of ten years (or 40 quarters) during your life to receive these premium-free Medicare Part A benefits. For more information about Medicare and to download Medicare & You, the official US government guide to Medicare, visit

Medicaid Program

The Medicaid program is a joint federal-state program designed for low-income residents. Each state has its own rules for the operation of the Medicaid program.

Medicaid provides for certain medical services such as medical visits, prescription drugs, and hospitalization.

If certain criteria are met, most living in the United States for five or more years of permanent residents of the United States who arrived in the country 22 in August 1996 of the year or after this date may be eligible to receive Medicaid services. For more information about Medicaid services in your state, please visit

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