Unfortunately, many Americans are without much needed health care coverage. As a result, people often cannot afford preventative health care or treatment for serious medical conditions. If you are without health care coverage, the Medicaid program may be an option. Most people have heard of the Medicaid program, but many do not know how the program is administered, what it covers and how you may qualify.
Medicaid is a program that is funded by the federal government; however, the program is administered at the state level by the individual states. As a result, eligibility requirements may vary from one state to the next as will the extent of the coverage provided by the program. Although there are differences among the states, the program is intended to provide health care coverage for low-income individuals and families who would otherwise be without health care coverage.
There are various factors common among the states that go into a decision regarding eligibility for the Medicaid program. First, you must be a U.S. citizen or lawful non-citizen. Your child, however, may qualify even if you do not meet the citizenship test as long as he or she does. After that, your income and resources will be evaluated to determine whether your household is considered “low-income”. Income limits will vary among the states as well as within the various classes of Medicaid coverage. Some classes of applicants can qualify with higher income limits than others. Children, pregnant women and the elderly or disabled typically have higher income limits than able-bodied adults. Most states also have different eligibility guidelines for persons living in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
The services that are covered by the Medicaid program are usually similar to those covered by private insurance companies. The principle difference is that you must find a doctor or healthcare facility that accepts Medicaid. While coverage for adults may not include preventative services, coverage for children often does include preventative services as well as services for illness or injury. Medicaid may also cover a significant amount of the medical care involved in caring for an elderly or disabled individual who is residing in a long-term care facility.