WHAT IS MEDICAID?
In 1965, the Social Security Act was expanded to include Medicaid. Medicaid is health insurance that is available for low-income families that meet the requirements set by the state. Each state administers its own Medicaid program, but the state programs are regulated by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These requirements are based on the household income relative to the number of dependents an individual has. Previous health conditions also may affect Medicaid eligibility.
WHAT DOES MEDICAID PAY FOR?
For low-income, older adults with medical problems, Medicaid will typically cover the entire cost of living in nursing home or nursing center. In a growing number of states, Medicaid waivers are available for assisted living care. In home care is usually available through the Medicaid program for those who qualify.
Medicaid will also assist families with medical bills and prescription medication.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAID?
Because the program is administered at the state level, eligibility requirements vary widely. However, eligibility is generally based on a combination of low income and low assets. In some states, it is possible to own a home and still qualify for Medicaid.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDICAID AND MEDICARE
While Medicaid is designated for low income families and individuals in the US, Medicare is the program set up by the government for elderly people over the age of 65. Income does not affect eligibility for Medicare, unlike Medicaid, meaning that any senior over the age of 65 can qualify for Medicare regardless of income.
HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDICAID?
Your local area agency on aging can typically help answer your specific questions on Medicaid coverage and eligibility. To find the contact information for your local area agency on aging, use the drop-down menus below.