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What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health care program that provides coverage for a variety of services. Because Medicaid programs are funded jointly by states and the federal government, the administration of Medicaid benefits and eligibility to receive coverage tend to vary from state to state.

According to estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 75 million people are enrolled in Medicaid.

Who is covered by Medicaid?

Every state’s Medicaid program covers a wide range of services that is dependent on a person’s age, financial circumstances, family situation, living arrangements and more.

To be eligible for Medicaid, you must be a resident of the state you reside in; a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien; in need of health care and have an annual household income below a certain specified amount.

In addition, only the following groups are eligible for Medicaid:

  • Children
  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults
  • Adults without children
  • People with disabilities
  • People with limited income and assets

Why is Medicaid important?

Medicaid is vitally important for millions of people, especially older adults and people living with disabilities or chronic health conditions. Medicaid is regarded as the largest payer for long-term care and is often the sole source of care for many.

For people with disabilities or chronic conditions, Medicaid services enable these individuals to stay in their homes, be active in their community and live productive lives.

What services does Medicaid cover?

Medicaid offers comprehensive health coverage for millions of people across the U.S. Just like the terms of eligibility, the precise services covered and the extent by which they are covered will vary based on where you live.

In general, most Medicaid programs cover the following health care services:

  • Home health care
  • Hospital stays
  • Hospice
  • Nursing home care
  • Lab tests and X-rays
  • Certain medical equipment
  • Most prescription drugs
  • Doctors’ care
  • Some dental services
  • Foreign language interpreter services
  • Non-emergency medical transportation