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Major Components of Medicaid and Medicare


Government-sponsored insurance is a critical source of medical costs covered in the United States. Medicare and Medicaid are two main types of insurance available from the U.S. government, and each of them applies to different patient populations. Together with the Social Security program, they provide assistance to vulnerable populations in America. The present paper will outline the major components of and gaps evident in Medicaid and Medicare and discuss the relevance of the Social Security program in the contemporary context.

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Medicare Program

Although there are some overlaps between Medicare and Medicaid programs, they target two different patient populations. The three main components of Medicare programs are inpatient care, outpatient care, and prescription drug coverage for U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents aged 65 or above (“The parts of Medicare,” 2019). Two coverage gaps evident in this program are people under 65 without disability and immigrants without legal status. Uninsured illegal immigrants are among the key vulnerable populations evident in the United States, and this gap in Medicare plays a significant role in their use of medical services.

Medicaid Program

Medicaid offers slightly different services and involves hospital care, ambulatory care, and long-term care provided to low-income families, pregnant women, and children, as well as disabled people (“Eligibility,” n.d.). This program also has some coverage gaps, including uninsured people with medium income and hospice care. Some states have added hospice care to the list of optional benefits provided under the program, but the majority of states do not cover this type of care.

Social Security Program

The Social Security program in America was initially designed to provide financial assistance to American citizens who lost their earnings due to retirement or disability. It can also be paid to family members in case of a person’s death (“Social Security program data,” n.d.). The program provides monthly benefits, which are paid by one of the two trust funds: the OASI Trust Fund or the DI Trust Fund, depending on the case (“Social Security program data,” n.d.). Both funds draw money from the tax contributions of current employees and employers, and this fact threatens the program.

In the contemporary world, more and more people rely on unofficial freelance work or other types of work that allow people to avoid paying taxes. As a result, the number of contributors to the program has fallen already and will most likely continue to decrease over the next few years (Schnaubelt, 2018). While the Social Security program is critical to ensure the well-being of vulnerable groups in the society, it would be essential to amend it to draw funds from a different source. For instance, one option would be for employees to make contributions to their own Social Security while they work, and if they require social security before retirement due to disability or death, the state government could cover the expected unpaid contributions.


All in all, all three government assistance programs covered in the present essay are essential for vulnerable groups of American citizens. However, there are still some downfalls in these programs that should be addressed by the policymakers to improve coverage or ensure the program’s existence. Covering the gaps outlined in the paper would help the U.S. government to improve the state of public health and welfare, which would be beneficial for all people living in the country.


Eligibility. (n.d.). Web.

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The parts of Medicare (A, B, C, D). (2019). Web.

Schnaubelt, C. (2018). Social Security: Past, present and future. Forbes. Web.

Social Security program data. (n.d.). Web.

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