Q:

What is the difference between Medicare and Medi-Cal?

A:

Quick Answer

Medicare is a federally administered program that provides health insurance for the elderly and other eligible participants, reports Medicare.gov. Workers qualify for Medicare through payroll tax payment, adds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medi-Cal is the California state-administered, need-based Medicaid program, explains the California Department of Health Care Services.

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Full Answer

The federal government runs the Medicare program for people age 65 and up, disabled people under 65, and those with end-stage renal disease, according to Medicare.gov. To qualify for Medicare, individuals must accumulate enough work quarters of coverage to be eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board monthly benefits, states the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The state of California runs the Medi-Cal program, explains the California Department of Health Care Services. The program is open to California residents with low incomes, including the elderly, the disabled, families with children, pregnant women and those with certain diseases.

Some people with low incomes are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, advises Medicare.gov. To qualify for Medicaid, Medicare enrollees must prove to the state that their income and resources are under state limits. Medicaid helps those on Medicare pay for their out-of-pocket expenses such as premiums, deductibles, copayments and prescription drug coverage.

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