Medicare Versus Medicaid

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Medicare versus Medicaid
A Brief Comparison

Medicare versus Medicaid: A Brief Comparison
The Federal government has two distinct programs to provide health insurance coverage to citizens, Medicare and Medicaid. The two programs, while helpful to those individuals who qualify, are not available to everyone. In this paper, I will briefly define and discuss the two programs, their similarities, and their differences. The first program I will discuss is the Medicare program. President Johnson signed Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, also known as Medicare, into law on July 30, 1965 with coverage beginning in 1966. When Medicare first began, it consisted of two basic parts, known as Part A, and Part B. Medicare Part A provides hospitalization coverage automatically to all citizens age 65 and older. It helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some home health care. Beneficiaries must meet certain conditions to get these benefits. Most people do not have to pay a premium for this service because they or their spouse has already paid for coverage through payroll taxes. (Medicare Gen Info) For those who do not qualify for premium free service, an annual deductible of forty dollars per year was established. . Since then, like everything else, Medicare Part A premiums have increased. “The $1,024 deductible for 2008, paid by the beneficiary when admitted as a hospital inpatient, is an increase of $32 from $992 in 2007. The Part A deductible is the beneficiary’s only cost for up to 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period. Beneficiaries must pay an additional $256 per day for days 61 through 90 in 2008, and $512 per day for hospital stays beyond the 90th day in a benefit period. This…...

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