Medicaid Applying and Eligibility

Published by Steve Hedberg on May 9, 2008 Under Medicaid

It is very important to have adequate health care, but without health insurance this can be very expensive. There are more than 45 million Americans that do not have insurance. For some this is a personal choice, but others simply can not afford the extra cost of health insurance.

Medicaid is a special type of insurance that is offered jointly by the state and the federal government. It is aimed at helping people with low incomes or disabilities receive medical insurance. The government considers several other factors besides income when considering whether to cover someone on Medicaid. This includes things like pregnancy, disability and blindness.

While Medicaid is funded by both the federal government and the state government, it is, for the most part, in the hands of the states to provide the actual care. The federal government has a set of regulations that every state must follow. Upon meeting these requirements, the federal government will reimburse the states 57% of the costs. Medicaid is voluntary and has been in place since 1965. Now every state participates in the Medicaid program.

Another service offered by the government is Medicare. This is often confused with Medicaid. Medicare is solely funded by the federal government, and its main purpose is to cover those over 65 or people with certain disabilities.

Medicaid also covers children and nearly 50% of the 52 million Americans with Medicaid are children. Even if a child’s parents are not eligible for Medicaid, the child can still be covered. About 25% of the people on Medicaid are adults, and about 15% are disabled. The remaining 9% are elderly. In 2004 about $305 billion was spent on Medicaid and approximately 1 out of every 5 health care dollars is from Medicaid.

The benefits received from Medicaid vary slightly by state, but there are many things they must include. Things like hospital, physician, surgical, and dental service must be covered. Some of these services may require a co-payment, but they can not charge a co payment for emergency health care, pregnancy services, and in certain situations nursing homes.

Medicaid is a great service that helps many people who would otherwise have to go without insurance. Each state runs several Medicaid offices and in order to qualify you must apply at one of these offices. Applications for disabilities must be reviewed within 90 days, and all others are reviewed within 45 days. To find information on your state check out the Medicaid State By State Directory.

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