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Money & Policy

Find Out Qualifications for Medicaid Benefits

State and federal rules determine who is eligible, and what benefits they get


Medicaid is a health insurance program managed jointly by federal and state governments for low-income people over 65, disabled individuals and people with children.

Both state and federal rules determine who is eligible for coverage, what health services are covered and any co-payments that may be required from beneficiaries.

How does someone qualify for Medicaid?

To qualify for Medicaid, a person must complete a state application and verify his or her income and savings or other assets that might be used to cover the cost of medical care. Federal policy requires states to examine all applicants’ financial histories for the previous five years to verify that they have not transferred assets out of their names to avoid using them for health care costs. Each year, people must renew their Medicaid coverage by completing a Medicaid review form that assesses how their incomes and assets have changed over the past year.

What should I know about Medicaid and aging services?

It is important to know that Medicaid only covers aging-services costs for individuals with limited resources. Because of high long-term care costs, however, nearly 65 percent of all nursing home residents are Medicaid recipients.

This article was provided by Leading Age. For more information on Medicaid, visit the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from the Department of Health and Human Services.

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