Medicaid & Medicare: What’s The Difference?

Medicaid provides health insurance for low income families and people. Medicare provides health insurance for people who are 65 and older, or who have a severe disability, regardless of income. Here are a few more differences between the two programs.


  • Medicaid serves people of all ages as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Medicaid members usually don’t have to pay part of the costs for services covered by their Medicaid health plans. When there are co-pays, they are usually very small.
  • Medicaid is a federal-state program. That means it is run by the state within the guidelines of the federal government. It also means that Medicaid programs may vary in from state to state.


  • Medicare serves people over the age of 65, no matter their income, and younger disabled people.
  • Medicare members pay part of their costs through deductibles for services and small monthly premiums.
  • Medicare is a federal program. That means it is run by the federal government and is the same in every state.

Want to learn more?

You can learn more about Medicare by visiting

To learn more about Medicaid, visit

To learn more about the Healthy Louisiana Medicaid program, visit

Be sure to also check out these articles on our website for more helpful information about Medicaid in Louisiana:

Last Revised: September 23, 2023