Medicare & Medicaid overview

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.

The difference between Medicare and Medicaid

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

Medicare

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

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 (DSNP) 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.

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

Footnote

  1. Product design and availability vary by state. Term lengths available vary by state.

Disclaimers

References to UnitedHealthcare pertain to each individual company or other UnitedHealthcare affiliated companies.

Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

All products require separate applications. Separate policies or certificates are issued. Golden Rule Short term Medical plans are medically underwritten and do not provide coverage for preexisting conditions or meet the mandated coverage necessary to avoid tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Expiration or termination of a Short Term Medical plan does not trigger an ACA Special Enrollment opportunity. Related insurance products offered by either company may be medically underwritten—see the product brochures and applications.

Short term health insurance is medically underwritten and does not cover preexisting conditions. It does not meet minimum essential coverage requirements, meaning signing up for this coverage may result in a tax penalty.