What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is America’s health care program for elderly, pregnant women, children, families and individuals with low income or limited resources. Medicaid covers about 60 million people, including US citizens and eligible immigrants. Even the HIAA (Health Insurance Association of America) describes Medicaid as a “government insurance program for people of all ages whose resources and income are insufficient to pay for health care.” Medicaid recipients must be legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens, their children, people with certain disabilities and may include low-income adults. Poverty alone is not always a major requirement for someone to get Medicaid.
Difference between Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid are two different government-run programs designed to help cover healthcare costs. Since the programs have similar names, people are often confused about what coverage they offer and how the programs work. While both were established by the U.S. government in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” vision of a general social commitment to meeting individual health care needs, they are actually very different programs with differing eligibility coverage and requirements.
Medicaid is not the same as Medicare.
- Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for people with very low income.
- Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage for elderly people or individuals with severe disability, no matter the income.
If you are eligible, you can have both Medicaid and Medicare (dual eligible). They will work together to provide you with very good health coverage.
How to Apply for Medicaid
You may apply for Medicaid in the following ways:
- Local District Social Services Offices
- Medicaid Helpline (800)541-2831
- Navigators and Certified Application Counselors
- Managed Care Organization (MCO)
- Online website
Where you apply for Medicaid will depend on your category. Your category might be single, parent(s), elderly, pregnant women, caretaker relatives with dependent children, childless couples, and/or disabled.
Income Requirements for Medicaid
The chart below shows how much income you can receive in a month and still qualify for Medicaid. The resource and income levels depend on the number of your family members who live with you.
Please keep in your mind that the resource and income levels are subject to yearly adjustments.