• Text Resize A A A
  • Print Print
  • Share Share Share Share

What is the Medicaid program?

Good health is important to everyone. If you can't afford to pay for medical care right now, Medicaid can make it possible for you to get the care that you need so that you can get healthy and stay healthy.

Medicaid is available only to certain low-income individuals and families who fit into an eligibility group that is recognized by federal and state law. Medicaid does not pay money to you; instead, it sends payments directly to your health care providers. Depending on your state's rules, you may also be asked to pay a small part of the cost (co-payment) for some medical services. In general, you should apply for Medicaid if you have limited income and resources. You must match one of the descriptions below:

Pregnant Women

Apply for Medicaid if you think you are pregnant. You may be eligible if you are married or single. If you are on Medicaid when your child is born, both you and your child will be covered.

Children and Teenagers

Apply for Medicaid if you are the parent or guardian of a child who is 18 years old or younger and your family's income is limited, or if your child is sick enough to need nursing home care, but could stay home with good quality care at home. If you are a teenager living on your own, the state may allow you to apply for Medicaid on your own behalf or any adult may apply for you. Many states also cover children up to age 21.

Person who is Aged, Blind, and/or Disabled

Apply if you are aged (65 years old or older), blind, or disabled and have limited income and resources. Apply if you are terminally ill and want to get hospice services. Apply if you are aged, blind, or disabled; live in a nursing home; and have limited income and resources. Apply if you are aged, blind, or disabled and need nursing home care, but can stay at home with special community care services. Apply if you are eligible for Medicare and have limited income and resources.

Other Situations

Apply if you are leaving welfare and need health coverage. Apply if you are a family with children under age 18 and have limited income and resources. (You do not need to be receiving a welfare check.) Apply if you have very high medical bills, which you cannot pay (and you are pregnant, under age 18 or over age 65, blind, or disabled).

Medicaid is a state administered program and each state sets its own guidelines regarding eligibility and services. To learn more, see: http://www.medicaid.gov/.

Category

Medicare and Medicaid
Content created by Digital Communications Division (DCD)
Content last reviewed on February 12, 2014
Back to Top