Portrait of a Medical Assistant

Medicaid is a federal initiative executed at a state level to provide comprehensive coverage and financial protection for millions of Americans. Meaning it is jointly funded by the federal and state governments but is administered by the state government. Seniors and people with disabilities make up almost two-thirds of the budgeted Medicaid spending. What does Medicaid cover? Medicaid can be used for acute medical care, long-term care, and medical care transportation.

Medical Care

Medicaid covers most common forms of health care including, broad insurance coverage, doctor visits, hospital expenses, nursing home care, home-health care, etc. Generally, any standard medical appointments and checkups, including dental, are covered under Medicaid. The degree of medical coverage depends on the individual states. For example, not every state’s Medicaid program covers the cost of prescription drugs. As an alternative, you can check to see if you qualify for the Medicare prescription drug plan which will help pay your premiums.

Long-Term Care

Federal law requires states to provide certain benefits in relation to Medicaid. State guidelines determine the type, amount, duration, and scope that fall within the federal guidelines. While Medicaid is generally offered to those with low income, it has the potential to cover a variety of medical issues including long-term care.  Medicaid can cover long-term care for people with low income, as it generally involves medical care. Long-term care is usually defined as living in a nursing home or experiencing an at-home care program. There are many living options for seniors, but not all of them are covered.

Transportation to Medical Care

A lesser known, but equally valuable aspect of Medicaid is the transportation coverage. Because of safety or logistical concerns, an elderly or disabled person(s) may not have a reliable means of transportation, but transportation is an important part of receiving proper medical care. Federal law requires the state programs to include transportation to medical care. When scheduling appointments, work with your representative to arrange transportation details.

While Medicaid and Medicare are not the same program, many people are eligible for both which will help ease the financial burdens of aging and illness. Medicaid can be a significant resource for helping with medical care, long-term care, and transportation services.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible or what Medicaid benefits you qualify for, reach out to your state’s Medicaid office, or visit their website to apply. Medicaid approval can take time, so it is best to apply early on to limit the need for coverage during a medical emergency.

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