FIrst Steps to Qualifying for Medicaid
For those with medical needs, Medicaid is of vital help in meeting those needs and getting the healthcare they need at prices they can afford. Many people know about the existence of Medicaid but aren’t sure about how to go about qualifying for Medicaid. If you’re one of those people, read on to learn more.
What is Medicaid?
Simply put, it’s a form of assistance with health care costs that is available to people with lower incomes, including the disabled, children, pregnant women, and seniors. Only United States citizens and legal residents who meet certain income and residency requirements will succeed at qualifying for Medicaid. Medicaid is not the same as Medicare, and health care with Medicaid is not completely free. There are costs, which vary by state.
Why Are State Requirements Different?
The federal government only funds a part of Medicaid, and some requirements are federally defined. However, each state also contributes a great deal to Medicaid as well, and so every state’s requirements are different in terms of eligibility due to income or size of a family. The federal government sets a minimum standard based on the Federal Poverty Level, but states may choose to extend benefits beyond this level. Sometimes it’s possible to apply even if you don’t meet requirements if you find that you’re not able to afford health insurance. Medicaid planning can be done with the assistance of a Medicaid planning attorney who can help you with an application, as well as with understanding all the laws and regulations.
Children Qualifying for Medicaid
Some children may find themselves qualifying for benefits if they are otherwise uninsured. This coverage is for children up to the age of 19 (21 in some states) for young adults who have come through the foster care system until the age of 26, and for the children of public employees in some states. A child’s status with respect to qualifying for Medicaid depends on their own immigration and citizenship status; not that of the parents.
Qualifying for Medicaid as a Pregnant Woman
For low-income women or those with no income, applying for Medicaid as soon as possible is the best strategy since Medicaid covers prenatal care, pregnancy, labor, delivery, and 60 days after the children’s birth.
Qualifying for Medicaid as a Disabled Person
Medicaid covers a wide variety of services for the disabled, and sometimes even long-term support and service whether or not a disabled person is able to work at all. Those on Supplemental Security Income usually qualify automatically for Medicaid benefits, though some stages will have special criteria.
Applying for Medicaid
To apply, it’s a good idea to have a Medicaid lawyer who can help you understand all the requirements in your state, make sure all your paperwork is in order, prosecute your application on your behalf, and even just give you a realistic understanding of your chances of qualifying for Medicaid. If you think you might be eligible, contact and lawyer and your state’s Medicaid program directly in order to get all the application information you need.