Medicaid is a government and state program that provides health insurance coverage to millions of qualifying low-income Americans every year at little to no cost. In 2019 alone, the Medicaid program has provided affordable health care to more than 65 million Americans.
If you are applying for Medicaid, it is important to learn more about the benefits that will be available to you if you are approved for coverage. These benefits include coverage options that are deemed mandatory by the federal government and may also include “optional” services depending on the state that you reside within.
In addition to reviewing information about the Medicaid program, it is also worth taking the time to learn more about other assistance programs, loans and grants that may be able to assist you further during a time of hardship.
Medicare vs Medicaid
If you are wondering, “What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?” then it is important to understand that Medicaid serves qualifying low-income Americans while Medicare provides comprehensive, affordable health insurance to qualifying senior citizens and disabled persons. However, the Medicaid program also provides coverage to 7.2 million low-income seniors and disabled individuals who are also enrolled in Medicare. This type of dual enrollment is referred to as “dually eligible” and can reduce or potentially eliminate the cost of Medicare for those who qualify.
Medicaid covers several different medical services, including visits with your doctor, hospital stays and laboratory services at little to no cost. The complete list of benefits that you may be entitled to will, in part, depend upon your state as the government allows states to choose whether or not to include medical services that are considered “optional” within the state program.
In addition to a variance of covered services between states, charges for this healthcare program may also vary. In some states, Medicaid is offered at no cost while others require a small premium that is based upon income level. There are also Medicaid state programs that include other types of fees, such as copayments. However, federal law limits the amount of money a Medicaid beneficiary can be charged each year.
There is a wealth of information that you can review now that you have downloaded our guide. This guide will assist you in understanding the programs that may be available for you to use as well as help you navigate through the services that you may be entitled to. Over the next few days, you can expect to receive additional information from our experts, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox. Until then, you can find basic information about Medicaid benefits, centers for Medicaid services, discounted services that may be available to you and government grants that you may qualify for in the sections below.
Learn About Medicaid Benefits
Medicaid benefits are divided into “mandatory benefits” and “optional benefits”. Mandatory benefits must be included in every Medicaid state program and include services such as:
- Inpatient and outpatient hospital services.
- Physician services.
- Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Services (EPSDT).
- Laboratory and X-ray services.
- Transportation to medical care.
- Certified pediatric and family nurse practitioner services.
While mandatory services must be included in every state Medicaid program, optional services vary between states. Optional services that may or may not be available to you through Medicaid include:
- Prescription drugs.
- Dental services.
- Optometry services.
- Chiropractic services.
- Speech, hearing and language disorder services.
About the Centers for Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is a federal agency that is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This agency is charged with administering the Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid programs to provide access to affordable health care.
Over the years, CMS has played an important role in ensuring that federal and state health insurance marketplaces have implemented the Affordable Care Act’s laws and other federal laws as well as provided a wealth of information to the public about these vital, life-saving programs.
Find Out About Discounted Services Available to You
If you are looking for cheap cable TV for low income households, you may have several different options available to you based on your income, where you live and personal preferences. There are several internet and cable providers today that offer cheap cable and internet with discounts or other types of resources that reduce your bill.
You can also review your current package in order to determine if you are paying for any services or channels that you are not using. Alternatively, you could cut the cord and utilize a streaming service instead. Additionally, the Lifeline program now offers assistance in paying for a portion of the cost of internet for low-income households that qualify.
Low income car insurance programs are rare, however, that does not mean that you can’t save on automobile insurance. Review your current coverage with an agent and make yourself aware of your state laws regarding coverage limits. You may be paying for more coverage than what you need. It is also important to ask your insurer whether or not you qualify for any discounts, such as safe driver discounts, or whether or not your insurer offers discounts for the completion of a safe driving course.
Low income home loans are available to families and individuals who meet eligibility requirements. Several government programs assist low-income households in the purchase of a home by backing a portion (or all) of a mortgage that is offered by a private lender, which can entice the lender to offer borrowers better loan terms and reduce eligibility requirements. This includes FHA loans, USDA loans and VA loans.
Learn About Government Grants
Contrary to popular belief, government grants are not offered to individual Americans and low-income households. Instead, government grants are provided to state and local departments and organizations to assist low-income communities through a number of projects. In some cases, those local organizations may provide a one-time financial assistant grant to an applicant depending on the company or local organizations may provide assistance with food, shelter or other household costs.
While government grants are not available to low-income households, several programs can offer assistance in other ways, thus reducing the amount of money that might be needed for food, utilities and other monthly expenses. These programs include but are not limited to:
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
- The Housing Choice Voucher Program (also known as Section 8 housing).
You may also have access to other local and state programs. If you are in need of food or would like to reduce your monthly food costs, local food banks strive to provide nutritious meals to family and generally provide free food on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.
You can find a complete list of local and state low-income assistance programs within your area by contacting your local Department of Health and Human Services. Generally, these offices will have a more complete list of assistance programs within a local area.
If you are in need of housing assistance, it is important to contact your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) within your area to determine whether or not you qualify for housing assistance as well as learn about local housing-related assistance programs that may be available on a local level.