Millions of Americans nowadays have access to medical insurance, the most popular of which are Medicaid and Medicare. They give significant opportunities for those applicable and make healthcare more accessible to people of any social class. However, enrollment rates for each program differ from state to state, making it necessary to examine each state in particular, to see the clear picture of what program is better for which state. This paper aims to overview both Medicare and Medicaid and determine which of the two programs is of greater influence in the state of Florida.
Many people often confuse these two programs, so it is very important to distinguish between them. The difference is indeed significant, as, even though Medicaid and Medicare provide assistance with health-related expenses, the age and level of income are the two decisive factors that separate the two (Medicare Interactive, 2020). Medicaid is a needs-based health insurance program, which means that a person of any age with limited incomes and financial budget can apply for assistance in covering medical costs. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is oriented towards senior citizens aged 65 years or older, as well as some limited groups of people younger than 65 who have disabilities or certain health issues. The main difference lies in the fact that incomes and financial assets are not taken into account.
Notably, Medicaid is run by both state and federal governments. Thus, the state has a decisive impact on the program’s functioning. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American states obtained the opportunity to expand the Medicaid program in order to reduce the rate of the uninsured and help the most vulnerable citizens get access to healthcare (U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2020). However, Florida appeared to be one of the few states that declined the Medicaid expansion in the year 2020. As a result, many people who are in need of support in covering medical bills were left unassisted. On the contrary, the Medicare program in Florida has proved to operate successfully, with more than 4.5 million Medicare beneficiaries having been registered in 2018 (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2020). Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is a fully federal program, strictly controlled by the federal government. Thus, the Medicare program is now more accessible for Florida residents and serves as a critical health insurance plan for the elderly and disabled in the state.
To sum up, Medicare, being a federally controlled program, is widely used by the citizens of Florida due to its relative accessibility, unlike the Medicaid program. After the state declined the Medicaid expansion and deprived a large number of people of getting financial support for covering medical expenses, Medicare has become a prevalent program, especially for the elderly. Thus, the Medicare program has a greater impact on Florida citizens, at least for now.
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2020). Total Number of Medicare Beneficiaries. Web.
Medicare Interactive. (2020). Differences between Medicare and Medicaid. Web.
U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). Affordable Care Act (ACA). Web.