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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Medicare vs. Medi-Cal: Similarities and Differences

Medicare vs. Medi-Cal: Similarities and Differences

With such similar sounding names, many Americans mistake Medicare and Med-Cal programs for one another, or presume the programs are as similar as their names. While both are government-run programs, there are many important differences. Medicare provides senior citizens, the disabled and the blind with medical benefits. Medi-Cal, on the other hand, provides healthcare benefits for those with little to no income.

Overview of Medicare
Medicare is a public health insurance program for Americans who are 65 or older. The program does not cover long-term care, but can cover payments for certain rehabilitation treatments. For example, if a Medicare patient is admitted to a hospital for at least three days and is subsequently admitted to a skilled nursing facility, Medicare may cover some of those payments. However, Medicare payments for such care and treatment will cease after 100 days.

In summary:

  • Medicare provides health insurance for those aged 65 and older
  • Medicare is regulated under federal law, and is applied uniformly throughout the United States
  • Medicare pays for up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility
  • Medicare pays for hospital care and medically necessary treatments and services
  • Medicare does not pay for long-term care
  • To be eligible for Medicare, you generally must have paid into the system

Overview of Medi-Cal
Medi-cal is a state-run program, funded by both the federal and state governments. Because Medi-cal is administered by the state, the requirements and procedures vary across state lines and you must look to the law in your area for specific eligibility rules.

In summary:

  • It is a health care program based on financial need
  • It is regulated under state law, which varies from state to state
  • It will cover long-term care

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