315 S. College Rd.
Suite 242 
Lafayette. LA 70503



Speak to a Guide

M-F: 9-5 CST

Guides Standing by

Medicare and Medicaid – What Are the Differences?

Table of Contents

health insurance


Health insurance coverage is a kind of insurance that pays a part or all of a person’s risk on the potential that he or she will incur medical costs. Just as with any other forms of insurance, health insurance also is risk among many people. If you are one of those people who have health insurance but suddenly find yourself needing to use your insurance you are not alone. Insurance companies deal with thousands of claims every year. In fact, it is so common that almost everyone has some kind of health insurance plan in force. Some people have more than one.


Many people are covered by Medicare, which is an extension of Medicare. Medicare is partially sponsored by the government and partially supported by private insurance companies. For example, if a member of the military or the dependents of military members fall ill and require hospitalization they will be able to receive medical care through Medicare, which will then pay for part or all of their medical care costs.

People who have Medicare can sometimes buy into private health insurance plans that are managed by an outside company. If the member of the family does not qualify for Medicare and does not purchase a Medicare supplement plan, he or she can buy into one of these plans. They can either choose a Medicare Part D plan or a Medicare Self Sponsored Plan. These plans are similar to the Medicare programs, but they are generally less expensive since Medicare takes care of many of the costs.

Medicare Shared Savings Program

The Medicare Shared Savings Program (SSP) program is another way for seniors to lower their out-of-pocket medical expenses. Under the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the government pays a portion of each month’s billed medical expenses and part of the deductible for Medicare Part B. Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan that offers discounts on medically needed prescription drugs, like antibiotics and diabetes supplies. Medicare Part A and Part B are two parts of the comprehensive Medicare coverage program.

Many countries, including Canada, have public health insurance plans. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers health insurance programs for seniors that are guaranteed by the government. Some of these programs are Medicaid and Medicare. Both of these programs must be renewed periodically, and participants must pay their own part of their expenses. Medicaid, on the other hand, is provided by the federal government for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid.

Both Medicare and Medicaid have different rules about the kinds of out-of-pocket expenses that you must pay. For more information on both of these insurance plans, you can visit their respective websites. There are a number of online insurance brokers that will help you find and compare Medicare and Medicaid plans. They will also be able to answer any questions you have about the details of their plans.

Subscribe to the Guidents Guidepost
thriving in retirement book cover

Get helpful resources and fresh ideas to help you thrive in retirement delivered right to your inbox in our Guidents Guidepost! We also include a free gift for joining, a free copy of How to Prosper & Thrive in Retirement.