What Is The Difference Between Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security?

What Is The Difference Between Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security?

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Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security

Three very large federal programs are social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If you have been watching recent US budget talks, you have probably heard a lot of discussion about funding for these three "entitlements" programs. A surprisingly large number of Americans are not exactly sure what these programs are, who gets benefits, and how they get funded though. Since they are so important, please take a moment to understand the differences.

Social Security

This is the US federal program that makes income payments to millions of Americans. To qualify, recipients must meet the minimum requirements for having worked and contributed to the system, or they must be beneficies of people are. They must also meet age or disability qualifications. The traditional retirement age was 65 years old, but now that has been raised to 67 for many people who are still of working age.

For example, if you worked for the required amount of time, and contributed to the system, you should qualify for benefits. However, a spouse of someone who qualified may also get benefits upon the death of the spouse.

The program is paid for by taxes levied upon current workers. Beneficiaries who are retired because of age or disability contributed to the system in the past, but their taxes paid for people who got benefits then.

To be clear, taxes you pay now are not really going towards your future benefits, but to current benefits. However, the…

Source by Marilyn Katz