Medicaid is a federal and state health insurance program, initiated for people with a low income. Precisely, it is free of cost health coverage to the persons in need. Not everyone is eligible for the program and only the eligible candidates can apply for the same through the specific application website. Each state conducts this program individually; however, all of it should strictly abide by the rules of the Federal Government. Half of the funding for the medical requirements also comes from the federal government itself. The Medicaid program serves particular groups of people including pregnant women with low income, children in the foster care or those who belong to the foster care, differently-abled people, seniors, parents or caregivers with low incomes.

Here in this guide, I will tell you how to apply for Medicaid, who is eligible for the coverage, and what are some of the best benefits to derive from this program.

What is the Medicaid Program?

It is a joint federal and state program that imparts free or low-cost health benefits to millions of Americans, that includes low-income people, children or families, pregnant women, senior citizens, and people with different abilities. The funding comes from the Federal government, and it sets the program guidelines too. The program could vary from one state to the other and even has separate names such as Medical Assistance or Medi-Cal.

Before moving on to the segment of applying for Medicaid, we will take a look at the eligibility of the program. Only qualified candidates have the scope to apply for the same.

Medicaid Eligibility: Who is Eligible for the Program?

Before applying for the Medicaid benefit coverage, it's essential to analyze if you meet the criteria to qualify. The benefits are only served to the eligible people. Read on to know.

The Medicaid eligibility might vary depending on the state. However, there are some general criteria that the applicant needs to satisfy:

•    The person should be a resident of the state in which you are applying for the health coverage.
•    The person applying for the same should have a low or a very low income and,
•    The person should belong to the United States.
•    Some specific non-citizens are eligible too, like lawful permanent residents.

If the person finds himself fulfilling the above-listed criteria, he could consider visiting his state Medicaid page to find out if there are any additional options for coverage like age limits, pregnancy, and parenting status.

How to Apply for Medicaid?

Applying for Medicaid would come with two separate options, check below.

•    Option 1: The person, willing to apply and eligible for the same, could get in touch with the state Medicaid agency.  As denoted in the Medicaid eligibility section, you must be a resident of the state where you are placing an application for the health coverage.

•    Option 2: Another way to place the application is by filling out the application through Health Insurance Marketplace.

You will need to click on the link given above and it will take you to a different page. There you will be asked to enter your state from a dropdown menu to check the authenticity. Once you enter the same, you will need to fill in the required details to create an account and log in to the same. Once you are logged in, you are good to go with the further application steps.

What Care Services Do Medicaid Cover?

As per the Federal Law guidelines, the states provide certain benefits that are being termed mandatory benefits. Again, the states might choose to offer other benefits as well and those are termed optional benefits. We have made a list of both the benefits in the chart that follows:

Mandatory Benefits

•    Inpatient Hospital care and services
•    Outpatient hospital care and services
•    Early and Regular screening, diagnostic and treatment services
•    Nursing facility care
•    Home health care and services
•    Federally qualified health center services
•    Family Planning Services
•    Laboratory and X-Ray Services
•    Midwifery services
•    Certified pediatric and Family Nurse practitioner services
•    Transportation to Medical Care

Optional benefits

•    Prescription medicines
•    Clinic care
•    Physical therapy
•    Thinking and movement therapy
•    Speech, hearing and language disorder services
•    Foot Care services
•    Vision Services
•    Dentures and Dental Services
•    Prosthetics
•    Eyeglasses
•    Personal care, hospice, case management, Community first choice option

Medicaid can also provide a list of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) to assist people to stay living at home and be active in the community. The support level imparted is based on the requirement or need of the individual. Examples under this venture include:
•    Personal care
•    Transportation Services
•    Efficient Nursing Care
•    Physical Therapy
•    Healthy Eating and Nutrition
•    Home delivered meals
•    Home chores

Some of the HCBS services like skilled nurse care or physical and occupational therapy could be provided by licensed professionals. Other services like household chores or meal making could be done by family members or paid caregivers.

Wrapping Up

This was all about the helpful Medicaid policy. I hope by the end of this guide you have formed a decent idea of how the scheme works, what the benefits it offers to the eligible candidates and how the eligibility of the individual is tested. Once the individual is considered eligible, he will be able to derive the concerned services. In case you are to apply, make sure to go through the eligibility guidelines in detail as a deviation from the same would result in the rejection of your application. The steps and concerned links handy for the applying purpose are mentioned in the above part of the article.

Health coverage is an amazing scheme and venture to help the people in need or the ones suffering from different complications at the time. It will help them with various health benefits and be of actual need during tough times. I hope with this guide you have formed a clear conception of how to apply for Medicaid and would be able to carry out the steps smoothly, without much hassle.

Note: The article is meant for reader's general awareness, kindly visit the related websites for recent updates, registrations and other associated specific information.

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How to Apply for Medicaid?