Medicaid is a combined federal and state sponsored health care program that provides coverage for low-income populations. The federal government pays individual states different amounts to administer their Medicaid programs. Visit CMS website above:
What Services Does It Provide?
Medicaid covers all hospital and outpatient care, with minimal required co-payments. Furthermore, it covers a large proportion of disabled people, as well as nursing home residents and long-term care patients. The program requires only minimal co-payments, and acts as a social safety net for almost 60 million individuals in the United States.
To be eligible for Medicaid, you must meet the eligibility criteria for your state, which is based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Currently, the Federal Poverty Level stands at about $10,800 in yearly income for an individual or $22,350 for a family of four.
Different states have criteria for Medicaid. For example, in Delaware, infants under 200% of the FPL can receive Medicaid, whereas the parents can only receive it if they are under 121% of the FPL. In contrast, in New Hampshire, infants under 300% of the FPL can receive Medicaid, whereas the parents can only receive it if they are under 49% of the FPL. In many states, childless adults are ineligible for Medicaid.
Click here for a list of Medicaid eligibility requirements by state.
What Does Reform Do?
In an effort to insure a higher number of low-income people, Medicaid eligibility will expand to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level on January 1, 2014. 133% of the federal poverty level is estimated to be $14,400 for an individual and $29,270 for a family of four. Furthermore, Medicaid will no longer discriminate between infants, children, parents, or childless adults; it will include all who qualify under this 133% FPL limit.
How Does it Help Young Adults?
Young adults, many of whom do not have children, were previously uneligible for Medicaid in many states, even if they qualified for Medicaid based on their state's eligibility criteria. With these requirements gone, young adults can receive access to health care. In fact, of the 15 million additional people Medicaid will cover due to health care reform, over 9 million of them will be young adults.