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What are the available health insurance programs for aging and/or low-income people?


Medicare  is a Federal health insurance program for people 65 years or older, certain people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Medicare has two parts --  Part A , which is hospital insurance, and  Part B, which is medical insurance. For information on Medicare, visit the Web site at or call toll free, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage:  Since January 1, 2006, everyone with Medicare, regardless of income, health status, or prescription drug usage has had access to prescription drug coverage. For more information about this program, visit:

Medicaid is a jointly-funded, Federal-State health insurance program that helps many people who can't afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. Good health is important to everyone. If you can't afford to pay for medical care right now, Medicaid can make it possible for you to get the care that you need so that you can get healthy and stay healthy. Medicaid is available only to people with limited income.  You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid does not pay money to you; instead, it sends payments directly to your health care providers. Depending on your state's rules, you may also be asked to pay a small part of the cost (co-payment) for some medical services.

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The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), created in 1997, expands health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. Through the national "Insure Kids Now" initiative, each state has its own SCHIP program that makes health insurance coverage available to children in working families. For more information, visit or call toll free 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1.877.543.7669). This Web site and toll free number also provide information on Medicaid.


Last Updated: 5/8/2008