Medicaid is a type of health insurance available to people with limited income who fall into one of several eligibility groups as defined by federal and state laws.
Medicaid Eligibility Requirements
Determining whether you qualify for Medicaid is not always easy. Generally there are two criteria: the first is your level of income, and the second is whether you fall into one of several defined "need" groups. Regardless of your situation, it a good idea to apply for Medicaid if you have limited income, even if you're not sure whether or not you qualify. If you find out that you do not qualify for Medicaid, then you may request more information on Medicare options here.
The following groups of people may be eligible for Medicaid, depending on their individual or family income level.
- Pregnant women (If you are receiving Medicaid when your child is born, you and your child will both be covered.)
- Children aged up to 18, teenagers living on their own, or children who are sick enough to need nursing home care
- Seniors aged 65 and over
- People who are blind or disabled, who live in a nursing home, or who are disabled but can live at home with home care services
Note that even though Medicaid is federally funded, the program is administered by state governments. This means that eligibility requirements may vary somewhat from state to state. For information about eligibility requirements in your state, see GovBenefits.gov.
What if you don't qualify for Medicaid?
Even if you don't qualify for Medicaid, you do have some other options for medical insurance. Most states run additional medical assistance programs to provide help for people who don't qualify for Medicaid but who have limited income and resources.