Most people have heard of the Medicaid program, yet many do not know exactly what services Medicaid covers or how eligibility is determined. Medicaid is a federally funded program that is administered by the individual states. What this means is that there are basic eligibility guidelines mandated by the federal government, but individual states may provide additional coverage or eligibility criteria.
The Medicaid program provides healthcare coverage to those who meet eligibility requirements. Both income and resources are considered when you apply for Medicaid. In order to be eligible, you must be considered low income and have limited resources. The income limit will depend on your household size, the state you live in and which category of Medicaid coverage you apply under. Slightly higher income limits typically apply, for example, for those who are elderly, pregnant or disabled.
You may qualify for Medicaid coverage even if you already have health insurance coverage from a private insurer or from Medicare. In that case, the primary insurance will generally pay out first with Medicaid covering deductibles or co-payments. Medicaid coverage will sometimes be retroactive as well, meaning you could qualify for coverage for up to three months prior to your actual application date.
If you have resources, such as a home, that would disqualify you for the Medicaid program, there may be legal options such as placing the assets is an asset protection trust. If you feel that you would otherwise qualify for the Medicaid program and are in need of healthcare coverage, discuss the available options with an estate planning attorney to determine if you can shift the assets into a trust in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the