Medicare and Medicaid are both government‐run programs.

Medicare is strictly a federal program that provides health insurance for those 65 and over, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End‐Stage Renal Disease (permanent failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).

Medicare Part A and/or Part B may help pay for your home health care if these conditions apply to you:

  • You’re under the care of a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment.
  • You’re homebound, which means you need help or special medical equipment such as a wheelchair to leave home. Homebound can mean that your doctor believes leaving your home could be harmful to your health and very difficult. Your doctor must certify that you’re homebound.
  • Your doctor orders home health care for you, certifying that you need in‐home health care because you’re homebound and need intermittent (not continuous) skilled care. Your health‐care provider must create a care plan for you.
  • You receive your care from a Medicare‐certified home health agency.

Medicaid is a state, as well as a federal program, that provides health insurance to millions of low income families, children, pregnant women, adults without children, and also seniors and people living with disabilities. In Massachusetts, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are combined into one program called MassHealth.