Under the Medicaid program, you can receive a variety of services at little to no cost. The full list of services available is dependent on the specifications of the Medicaid program in each state.
In addition, state governments have the option of offering additional health coverage to program beneficiaries.
Furthermore, different states may charge differently for medical services. For instance, a service in one state may be offered at no cost but in another state, beneficiaries might have to pay a copayment.
Although there is a limit imposed by the federal government on how much recipients can be charged each year for Medicaid, this amount also varies by state.
Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid
Many residents who are looking for affordable medical coverage are confused about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid.
One of the primary differences between the two programs is that Medicaid serves low-income residents. On the other hand, Medicare is a comprehensive health program available to seniors and disabled applicants.
However, millions of low-income elderly Americans and disabled residents also receive Medicaid coverage in addition to Medicare.
Those who are recipients of both programs are considered dually eligible. Residents who are eligible for both may be able to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, their Medicare costs.
These services Medicaid covers include laboratory services, doctor visits and hospital stays. The federal government mandates certain mandatory coverage while states may include additional optional coverage.
Depending on the state, coverage may include more services including:
- Dental services.
- Podiatry services.
- Optometry services.
- Physical therapy.
Additionally, Medicaid coverage in certain states requires payment of a monthly premium that is dependent on the participant’s income level or medical status.
For instance, pregnant women and disabled individuals may have different earning limits than abled-body individuals.
The out-of-pocket costs are not limited to monthly premiums, as recipients may need to cover deductibles or copayments for services rendered.
Explore the sections below and learn about basic Medicaid information, where Medicaid service centers can be found and other discounted services and federal assistance programs that you can apply for.
Learn About the Benefits of Medicaid Insurance
Medicaid insurance is split into two kinds of benefits: mandatory and optional. Mandatory benefits are those that are required to be included in all state Medicaid programs.
Services such as physician visits and hospital stays are considered mandatory services. The following must also be provided by all Medicaid programs:
- Diagnostic screenings
- Transportation to medical services
- Laboratory services
- Pediatric care
While all U.S. states must offer mandatory services, they can also provide the option to receive other services. These other health care benefits may come at higher costs and might not be available through Medicaid.
Dental services, prosthetics and treatment for speech disorders are also considered optional services and state Medicaid programs are not required to offer them.
About Medicaid Insurance Service Centers
Medicaid insurance service centers are known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS is a federal agency that compromises one component of the larger Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
These Medicaid service centers are responsible for managing the three largest federally supported affordable health coverage programs, which include:
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Another important role of the CMS is to make sure that legislation associated with the Affordable Care Act is implemented throughout the health care programs that it oversees.
Additionally, the CMS provides important information to the public regarding these helpful programs.
Find Out About Low Income Car Insurance and Other Discounted Services
If you earn a low income, you may be able to obtain a variety of services at discounted rates. For instance, if you are looking for cheap or discounted cable TV plans, you may have several options depending on your income and location.
Many cable and internet providers offer discounts to lower your bill in addition to low-cost plans.
Alternatively, you can examine the current package you have and eliminate components of it that you are not utilizing such as certain channels.
After considering which services you are or are not using you might decide that switching to streaming services would benefit you more financially.
However, if you qualify for the Lifeline program, you will be able to get a portion of your internet and cable services paid for and, thus, reduce your payment contribution.
While it is difficult to find cheap car insurance or programs that are affordable for low-income households, you can obtain many discounts.
You should first review your current policy with an agent and become aware of the coverage laws in your state.
There is a chance that you purchased too much coverage. In addition, it can be worthwhile to ask your agent about any discounts that you qualify for such as the safe driver discount.
In addition, you and your family may be able to obtain a low-income home loan. Certain federal programs provide assistance to low-income households in purchasing a home.
These programs back all or a portion of a mortgage. Doing this allows low-income residents to have good loan terms and rates. The available mortgage programs include FHA, USDA and VA home loans.
About Federal Financial Aid Assistance Programs and Grants
Federal grants are commonly believed to be available to individual applicants and low-income residents. However, this is not the case in most instances.
Instead, federal and state governments provide funding in the form of grants to local organizations that can assist residents in communities. These organizations provide assistance through various projects and in certain cases through financial assistance grants.
Depending on the specific community, residents may have access to shelter, food and assistance with paying household costs.
Although government grants are typically not offered to households or individual applicants, residents can obtain needed assistance through other federal programs.
Participating in such programs enables beneficiaries to save money on necessities such as food and utilities. Some of the programs available include:
- The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV/Section 8).
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Many cities and local communities provide access to other forms of assistance such as food banks. Qualifying low-income families can usually go to these sites and receive free food either on a weekly or monthly basis.
Furthermore, some states and cities have different programs. Thus, it is best to contact a local Department of the Health and Human Services to find a full list of all the assistance that is available.
In addition, you can contact the Public Housing Agency (PHA) in your area if you are looking for housing assistance. They can help you determine whether you qualify for low-income housing or other rental aid.