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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:49 pm
Medicare, Medicaid, and supplemental insurance are subjects of great concern for older adults. Medicare and Medicaid are both part of the Social Security Act and help pay medical bills. However, they are two very different programs. Medicare is an insurance program, designed and administered by the federal government. Medicare programs are the same throughout the United States. Medicare is for most people, regardless of income, age 65 and older. Medicare is also available for people under 65 five who have disabilities and have received Social Security disability pay for at least two years, and for certain people with permanent kidney failure. Medicare is divided into two parts: hospital insurance, called 'Part-A,' and medical insurance, called 'Part-B.' Part-A Medicare pays for part, but not all of hospital and other health care expenses, and a monthly premium must be paid for Part-B Medicare. For information about Medicare, contact the Social Security office. Medicaid is an assistance program designed by federal law and administered by individual states within federal guidelines. Its programs vary from state to state. Medicaid is for certain needy and low income people and assists with many health care costs for those eligible. For information about Medicaid, contact the Department of Human Services, the local Social Security Administration office, American Association of Retired Persons, or your state and county health and welfare office.
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