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What Is Medicaid?

Feb 2, 2008
Medicaid is a federally funded plan set up to administer health care for individuals and family of limited income and resources. Medicaid is state managed and each state is responsible for setting the guidelines for eligibility and disbursement.

The federal guidelines identify 25 categories for eligibility that can be broadened into 4 categories.

* Pregnant Women

A woman who even thinks she might possibly pregnant can apply for Medicaid. A woman is eligible regardless of marital status. When the child is born, both mother and child are covered.

* Children and Teenagers

A parent or guardian of a child who is 18 old or younger and the family has few resources can apply for Medicaid. A parent or guardian with a child that is sick enough to need nursing home care but would prefer quality care at home can also apply for Medicaid.

* Persons that are Aged, Blind and/or Disabled

A person is who is 65 or older, is blind or disabled and has a low income or few resources can apply for Medicaid. An individual can also apply who is terminally is and would like to receive hospice care. The aged, blind are disabled that need nursing home care but would prefer to utilize and at-home community service can also apply.

* Other Situations

If an individual is leaving welfare but needs health coverage he/she can apply for Medicaid. An individual can also apply if he/she has a great amount of medical debt and does not have the income to pay contingent upon the person falling into the categories listed above, i.e. pregnant, parent of child who is 18 or younger 65 and older and is blind and/or disabled.

In addition to Medicaid, the government has implemented another program to provide for children up to the age of 19. The program is called the State Children's Health Insurance Program or SCHIP. Some states have incorporated this plan into their Medicaid program. Other states have kept it separate while other states have done a combination of the two. These programs are meant to bridge the gap for families who make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid but they also can not afford private insurance. Most states provide this insurance to children whose families are at or below 200% of the Federal poverty level (FPL).

The federally funded programs are important resources for our nation's most vulnerable. While not perfect, it does provide a means for those who aren't able to do for themselves.
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