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What is Medicaid and What Medical Services Are Available With This Program

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Medicaid is health insurance that is provided by the U.S. government and by various state governments around the country. This program provides health insurance for low-income individuals.

Medicaid is also designed to help children, senior citizens and people who have a physical handicap. These individuals can receive medical coverage if they qualify for this type of assistance.

What States Provide Medicaid?

As stated earlier, the federal government offers Medicaid insurance. At least 32 states and the District of Columbia also provides this health insurance coverage.  Each state has their own rules for who is eligible and how to file. The qualification process is outlined on the Medicaid website.

 Social Security and Medicaid

The application process for Social Security and Medicaid are similar.This makes sense since they are both government funded programs. Many low income individuals can receive Medicaid insurance if their only source of income is Social Security. Of course, there are income limits even with Social Security.

We will briefly review some of the guidelines that the Medicaid program has below. This will help you to determine whether or not you should apply for Medicaid.

What Medicaid Covers

Medicaid for seniors primarily covers long term care needs. This includes nursing home care. Services that Medicare does not cover can be covered by Medicaid. It may even cover premiums and deductibles. In addition, Medicaid may provide in home care to aid a senior to live independently as long as possible. Medicaid can also provide the valuable service of providing transportation to and from the doctor. 

Medicaid Vs. Medicare

Seniors who are collecting social security have Medicare coverage. However, there are limits to what Medicare covers and some services it does not cover at all. For example, mental health and therapy services as well as some dental care is available with Medicaid. However, not all seniors are eligible for Medicaid. You must be considered low income or “needy.”

General Medicaid Requirements

I could give you the long and complicated formula for that determines Medicaid eligibility. To keep it simple, though, if you are an individual applying for Medicaid your annual income must be below $17,236. This is the income limit for 2019. It may change in 2020. Your assets may also be included in determining if you qualify. For the most accurate and up to date information, contact your local Medicaid office.

Medicaid Eligibility For Over 65

Whether or not you qualify for Medicaid can be determined using the same process as the social security application.  Additionally, this process is used for individuals who are blind or otherwise disabled.

Non-Financial Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility is not based on finances alone. Other requirements for Medicaid include being a U.S. citizen and a resident of the state where a person applies. Certain non-citizens can also receive this benefit. States have their own rules for this type of qualification. There are qualification requirements for pregnant women, parents and for age limits.

Information about Coverage

Qualified Medicaid applicants will receive coverage on the date of their application or on the first day of the month of the application. Applicants can also be paid retroactively for up to 3 months prior to the month of application. This simply means that a person can get some months of back coverage for this type of insurance. Current applicants can be disqualified if they are no longer eligible.

Medical Needy Qualifications

Some U.S. citizens who have severe medical problems can also receive this benefit. If a person with severe medical issues has a low income that meets eligibility requirements; they will usually receive coverage. This service covers the extra medical related expenses that a person incurs during their care.

How Does Medicaid Work ?

Medicaid provides the same service as Medicare. This insurance also covers some things that Medicare does not. Recipients can also get premiums, co-payments and deductibles covered. Some Medicaid applicants can also receive care for long-term nursing assistance.

Medical Benefits Provided by Medicaid

Medicaid benefits provide two types of benefits. One type is for mandatory benefits and the other type is for optional benefits. Mandatory policy coverage is for inpatient hospital services, outpatient hospital service and services for nursing and home health aides. Optional benefits are for prescription drugs, physical services and clinic services. Medicaid also covers eyeglasses, dentures, dental services, chiropractic aid, podiatry programs, occupational therapy, physician assistance, rural health care and midwife services. These services and many more are provided as needed from Medicaid.

Medicaid Payment Amounts

A person’s Medicaid coverage will vary by individual and by the amount that they have been awarded. Medicaid coverage is to be used for medical related services and nothing else. Coverage can also vary if a there is a change to their medical situation.


Medicaid.gov provides more information about this form of health coverage. If a person does not live within a particular state that offers this service, they might be eligible for federal Medicaid assistance. The Medicaid.gov website will describe everything a person needs to know about this service.