The terms Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare are very similar. Most of us know that they are public health insurance, but can’t tell their differences. In a recent survey, about 35% of the respondents don’t know that Obamacare is merely the another name of the Affordable Care Act. The similar naming and the nicknames caused a lot of confusion in the mass. Alright, what are the differences among them?
Medicare is for 65+ years seniors and certain disabled people in all ages.
Medicaid is the public health insurance for the low income population.
Obamacare/Affordable Care Act is a federal law enacted in 2010 to protect individuals with their health insurance coverage, standards for healthcare by doctors and hospitals.
Medicare covers 65+ years old seniors and people with certain types of disabilities. At the moment, it has four parts of coverage. The original Medicare Part A covers the hospital insurances and Part B covers the medical insurances. After the patient paid their deductibles and coinsurance, Medicare will pay the rest. However, Part A and B don’t cover the following:
- Long term care (daily activities)
- Most dental care
- Eye examinations related to prescribing glasses
- Cosmetic surgery
- Hearing aids and exams for fitting them
- Routine foot care
Part C is the additional coverage, like Medicare prescription drug coverage or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). It also includes the option of choosing providers, different types of medical plans, and Medicare medical saving account. Part D is the Prescription Drug Plan and it is offered by private insurance companies approved for Medicare.
Medicaid is the public health insurance for eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elders, and disabled. It is administered by the states and standardized by the federal government. The percentage of the coverage and co-pay are depended on the plan, but it covers of physician visits, prescriptions, hospital bill… and many other medical fees.
The Affordable Care Act is a health care reform law enacted in March 2010 (known as ACA, PPACA, or Obamacare). It is an extension of the Medicaid. At this moment, there are debates in the congress whether keeping this Act or repeal it and replace it with the American Health Care Act, the AHCA or “Trumpcare”.
According to the official site of the ACA, this law has 3 primary goals:
- Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
- Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.)
- Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.
Basically, these are the difference among Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. All of them are public options but cover different parts of the population.