With chronic diseases taking a toll on our lives, it is utmost necessary for each one of us to apply for health insurance coverage. It is not always possible to pay unexpected hospital bills, especially when you are passing through a difficult phase in your life. This is when the Medicaid program comes in as a life savior. If you need long-term care and want to protect your family during their health crisis, all you need is to apply for the Medicaid program.
This health program provides manage care to people who are aged above 65 or have income that falls below certain federal and state thresholds. In the United States, the Government has taken this vital responsibility to help disabled and low-income people with Medicaid health coverage; managing all your hospital needs in the best possible way.
What is Medicaid?
Before stepping into the process of applying for the Medicaid program, it is necessary to brush-up your skills regarding what the Medicaid program is about and how it works.
A Medicaid program is a state-administered program for citizens residing in the US. The coverage details of this health program are determined by individual states. Each state provides specific doctor and hospital services.
All you need to do is apply for the Medicaid program, and if you qualify or meet the eligibility criteria, the health program will help you pay your Medicare premiums, coinsurance, and even deductibles.
How to apply for it?
Applying for a Medicaid program will require you to follow three vital steps.
- Firstly, you can start with visiting their website; Healthcare.gov
You can contact a local Medicaid office to know about the procedure for applying. Some states require you to apply for the personal program, while others may allow you to apply online through mail or by telephone, or at health care centers and community organizations.
2. Read the application form. Find out the documents you may need to attach with the application. Your Medicaid office will ask you to submit the following;
a) Birth certificate
b) Residential proof (e.g. Passport, Driving License, Green Card, and Employment Authorization Card)
c) All types of income proof earned and unearned; for example retirement benefits, supplemental security income, paycheck stubs, etc.
d) Proof of resources like bank statements, insurance policies, property papers, etc.
e) Proof of US citizenship or lawful residence
f) Insurance card if you have any
3)Follow all the instructions mentioned in the form and submit the same to the Medicaid office. States are known for being responsive to Medicaid applications within 45-90 days.
In case your application is not approved, you can appeal for a second time. If your Medicaid application has not been accepted because of missing documents, get everything done twice and resubmit. If you think that the rejection is made on incorrect grounds, provide proper documentation to prove otherwise. The Medicaid office will look into the matter and inform you shortly.
Who are eligible for Medicaid Program?
The eligibility criteria for the Medicaid program vary from state to state. For example, in some states, if you’re disabled, you can claim Medicaid coverage, no matter how much you earn. In other states, a disabled person can’t claim Medicaid coverage if his/her income is above a certain level. Other than income, other eligibility requirements are;
- Disability status
- Pregnancy status
The state is known for providing coverage to individuals who receive federally assisted income and even to those who don’t receive cash payments. The federal government also focuses on categorically needy groups. People in these groups are;
- Children aged below 18 years earning at or below 138% of the FPL (Federal Property Level)
- Citizens who receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- Pregnant women with an income below 138% of FDP
- Adults with low income and limited resources
- Pregnant women and parents who are earning more than the mandatory coverage limits
- Aged people having health issues like loss of vision or any other disability
The best you can do is check their websites for more updates on eligibility criteria.
Which healthcare services are covered by the Medicaid program?
Each state has a different procedure for providing Medicaid services. Not all insurance providers accept Medicaid. Please make sure you check their coverage detail before having health care. Below mentioned are some of the vital services that the Medicaid program covers;
- Doctor visit
- Eye care
- Dental care
- Laboratory services
- Mental health services
- Medical supplies
- Nurse practitioner services
- Transplants( Liver, Kidney, Bone Marrow)
- Home and community-based services
- Prenatal care
- Rural health clinic services
Who pays for Medicaid Program?
This health care program does not pay money to individuals. It pays directly to the healthcare providers. States make these payments through prepayment arrangements like health maintenance organizations. The federal government reimburses each state a percentage share of Medicaid expenditures. The Federal Medical Assistance Program changes each year, depending on the state’s average capita per income. The reimbursement rate started at 50% and reached 77% in 2020.
Benefits of having Medicaid
If you are in the States and is earning low, applying for the Medicaid program is a must for you. This healthcare program has been in limelight because of the bunch of benefits it offers. This state-owned healthcare program takes the utmost responsibility to serve you and your family with the necessary healthcare services.
Having Medicaid in the United States will help you pay for doctor visits and hospital stays. Even prescription drugs are covered under this program. If you’re planning to extend your family, Medicaid is there to serve all your medical needs. You will surely get financial help in case your spouse needs to be in the hospital. If your child is having a vision problem, you can claim insurance coverage. Long-term care is important in many cases. Medicaid helps you do so with its amazing coverage plan. You just need to show the Medicaid card in the hospital and they will process accordingly.
Not everyone is capable of affording huge medical expenses. This is why you should apply for the Medicaid program and enjoy the amazing medical benefits it offers. From hospital stays to prescription drugs, the Medicaid program covers all the services. To know more about your Medicaid program, check the state’s website you are residing it. Make sure you update your information every year to claim all the benefits.