Medicaid provides low-cost and free health cover to millions of US citizens, who couldn’t normally afford or obtain health insurance. It’s administered by individual states and funded by state and the federal government.
Some states have expanded Medicaid so more people are included – though the costs and the coverage do vary by state. Currently, there’s around 60 million Americans on Medicaid.
Who is eligible?
Those eligible include those on a low income, pregnant women, the disabled, seniors, and children. Federal law has made certain groups mandatory, and other groups optional for states to cover. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 widened the number of people who can apply for Medicaid.
Qualification is based on income and family size – often working out the salary percentage over the Federal Poverty Line – with the FPL being updated every year. If your state has expanded Medicaid then you can qualify based on just your income. If it hasn’t, then your state may have other requirements such as your family status. To qualify for Medicaid you also need to be a US citizen.
How can I apply?
It’s possible to use online tools to work out if your household income means you are eligible for Medicaid. You can then apply for Medicaid or CHIP through your state Medicaid agency – the contact details for your state can be found through a quick online search. You won’t find out for sure if you qualify until you apply.
What does Medicaid cover?
This varies by state but compulsory elements include in and outpatient hospital services, family planning services, pediatric and family nurse services, and rural health clinic services. Your state may or may not include dental and eyecare, hospices, prescription drugs and other services.