What is Medicaid?

Medicaid was introduced to allow access to required medical care and lessen the burden of medical costs for Americans and their families with low income and limited resources. It is a federal and state program that offers other benefits that aren’t covered by Medicare, including home care and personal care services. Every state runs programs with specific guidelines and criteria based on income, age, health condition, pregnancy, disability, and more. The programs are funded through the fluctuating state and federal budgets, which affects the Medicaid coverage provided in individual states. One of the things that Medicaid does is help people with low income to utilize and pay for personal care services while staying at their home.

There are Medicaid waivers for seniors that make receiving in-home care possible without worrying about paying caregivers or agencies. Waivers allow Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in Medicaid to render services, including personal aide and home care services, to the ones in need. However, there are certain limitations with waivers, and people may have to wait on a waiting list to receive these services and pay through Medicaid reimbursement.

In 1965, Medicaid was first introduced to cover and allow access to health care for those who are unable to work. States are not required to participate, but all states voluntarily do it. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has set certain criteria for participating states to get federal funding. For states, they can control eligibility parameters and types of services covered under the program.

During the presidency of Barack Obama, a law was brought into effect to standardize and regulate Medicaid requirements. This was supposed to help an individual who is earning up to 133% of the poverty line to qualify for the intended program. However, it was challenged, and the Supreme Court turned it down. The Medicaid by state eligibility has become at-risk since the announcement from the Trump administration to allow states to impose work requirements for those receiving Medicaid.

For Americans living in different states, there are multiple Medicaid programs available. Someone who makes less than 100 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL) and is disabled, pregnant, senior, a parent or a child should seek more information about his/her state and Federal Medicaid programs.

Application for Medicaid is accepted all year round, obviously only if eligible, on the state’s Medicaid portal. While applying for Medicaid, provide the application with the state’s required documents, such as –

  • Driver’s license or birth certificate as proof of age and citizenship
  • Latest pay slips or tax returns as proof of income
  • Bank statements for the period as mentioned
  • Utility bill or a copy of your mortgage as proof of address
  • Include medical records for proving disability

States have 45-90 days to process the application if it is tied to a disability.

Download Medicaid Guide


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