Medicaid Eligibilty

Healthcare in America is changing. People facing financial hardship constantly wonder what help is available when they need medical attention. It is hard t…

Healthcare in America is changing. People facing financial hardship constantly wonder what help is available when they need medical attention. It is hard to know where find reliable information, and one of the main areas of concern in healthcare today is Medicaid eligibility.

The US Department of Health & Human Services describes Medicaid as an “assistance program” for families with low incomes. It is not to be confused with Medicare, an “insurance program” into which small monthly premiums are paid in advance.

Medicaid was first established in 1965 as revisions to the Social Security Act were made to help provide healthcare coverage to low-income families not able to afford it on their own. While Medicaid receives federal funds, state governments also contribute and have historically had the privilege of administering Medicaid programs at their own level, setting respective eligibility criteria sets within each state. Individuals qualified to receive Medicaid benefits as residents of one state are not guaranteed continued coverage if they move to another state where the program is administered differently. They must start anew and undergo the application process in the new state of residency. These individual state programs, however, are not without supervision. They must adhere to a certain national framework of standards regulated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Medicaid qualification, in general, is aimed toward US citizens with specific medical conditions, and their dependent families, if they are determined to be at certain poverty levels. Medicaid may serve low-income individuals with physical disabilities such as blindness, deafness and mobility impairment. It may also attend to low-income individuals with mental disabilities or even medical conditions not considered a disability at all, such as pregnancy. Nursing home care and dental services may also be included in Medicaid coverage.

But how do we know who qualifies? How does the Affordable Care Act of 2010 affect what we already know about Medicaid coverage? With the validity of the Act still under fiery debate in politics and the likelihood of revisions being made along the way, we must carefully draw from only the reliable information sources. We must not be misled in matters as important as getting healthcare we can afford.

M is the official site of the Medicaid program. It offers an overview of Medicaid coverage as a whole, and will list the most up-to-date information about Medicaid as healthcare systems in the United States continue to evolve. The site explains the correlation of Medicaid to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, commonly referred to as CHIP, and explains how Medicaid is anticipated to perform with the Affordable Care Act. Here, you can also link to state-specific Medicaid application processes.

If you think you qualify to receive healthcare coverage assistance and the information you find online is unclear and overwhelming-or if you simply prefer to speak with someone-visit the local Health & Human Services Department office managed by your state. The representatives there have experience evaluating personal circumstances, recognizing needs and matching people to the public assistance programs from which they are eligible to draw. If you do qualify for Medicaid benefits, the process will start in that office.