What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a program that can help pay for the cost of healthcare if you have a low income and limited assets. It is paid by federal and state governments. The program is sometimes called Medical Assistance or Title 19.

Who can be covered by Medicaid?

You are automatically eligible for Medicaid if you get:

  • Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Generally, people who qualify for Medicaid are low-income pregnant women, children, low-income parents or caretakers, and older or disabled adults. You may be eligible for Medicaid if your medical costs are higher than your income.

To get Medicaid, you must prove that you have few assets. The level of assets allowed varies by state and whether you are married. If you are married, your spouse is allowed to have limited assets, not counting a house. If you are single, you must have few or no assets.

Medicaid rules change. Also, Medicaid programs vary somewhat from state to state. For more information, check with your local social services department.

What is covered by Medicaid?

Each state decides what will be covered under Medicaid. Usually Medicaid covers:

  • Care in a hospital or nursing facility
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescription drugs

Medicaid pays for most of the nursing facility costs in the US. In some states, Medicaid covers assisted-living care and adult day care programs if these services keep you from needing to be in a nursing facility.

If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, most of your healthcare costs will be covered. Medicare pays first. Medicaid covers the copayments. Copayments are the part of Medicare costs you would otherwise have to pay. Medicaid also pays for things Medicare does not, such as eyeglasses and hearing aids. Medicaid may help pay for your premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-12-08
Last reviewed: 2014-12-08
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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