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Understanding Medicaid

Posted Mar 6th, 2012 by Patient Assistance Team

While the United States doesn’t have a universal health coverage plan, it does provide certain qualifying citizens with Medicaid, a health care plan for low income individuals and their families as well as people with certain kinds of disabilities.

Medicaid is jointly funded by the state and federal governments even though it is managed each state manages its own allocation of funds. Here is how this works: Each state coordinates its own Medicaid program while the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees the state program and establishes requirements and eligibility standards for the delivery of health care services, the quality of those services as well as its funding.

In order to qualify for Medicaid, an individual must meet certain other requirements other than income. Such requirements include assets, age, pregnancy, disability, income and citizenship or immigrant status.

Medicaid was first created in 1965 under the Social Security Amendments of 1965. In 2001, according to CMS, Medicaid provided health care services to more than 46.0 million people throughout the country. Given the recent economic status of the country, enrollees have increased; in 2008 for instance, Medicaid provided health coverage and services to approximately 49 million low-income eligible residents or citizens.

To learn more about your state’s own Medicaid program, contact your state’s government office.