What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is the federal government’s health insurance program for low income seniors, pregnant women, children, people with disabilities, etc. Seniors have been relying on Medicaid since it was established with Medicare in 1965 under the Social Security Act. Medicaid is funded with both stated and federal dollars and it covers hospital and doctor visits, dental care, prescription drugs, nursing home care, in-home support, vision care, Medicare premiums and more.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) manages Medicaid on the federal level, but each state administers its own program. State programs may vary by name.
How do I get Medicaid?
Eligibility rules vary from state to state, but most states follow basic eligibility criteria. Your income and/or assets must be below a certain level depending on your state, circumstances, and the services you’re seeking. Eligibility criteria may include your age, disability, income, resources, U.S. citizenship, etc. Special rules apply for those living in a nursing home and other specific groups.
You must apply for Medicaid through your State office which you can find through the Resources by State page. Coverage may begin retroactively up to 3 months if you would have been eligible at the time; meaning if you had unexpected medical expenses and don’t have Medicaid, but you would have qualified at the time of your illness, Medicaid could cover those costs. Speak with your state’s Medicaid office for specifics.