Medicaid is a federal- and state-administered program that gives millions of eligible low-income Americans with health insurance coverage. Millions of households receive Medicaid every year with minimal contribution to their premiums. The Medicaid program has provided inexpensive health care to 65 million Americans in 2019 alone. 

Having a thorough understanding of the benefits that Medicaid provides is essential, especially if you are deciding to apply for it. Medicaid benefits will include coverage options that are considered mandatory by the federal government. These benefits can also include “optional” services, which can vary depending on the state that you live in.

Along with revising the information that has to do with the Medicaid program, learning about the other assistance programs can prove to be beneficial as well. There can be loans and grants you may be eligible for and can aid you further in your financial issues.

The Difference Between Medicaid and Medicare

Although the terms both look similar, it is crucial to know the difference between these two government programs. Medicaid serves low-income Americans, whether it be the elderly or young families. Medicare gives substantial yet affordable health insurance to eligible senior citizens and disabled individuals. 

Additionally, persons who have Medicare can also be eligible for Medicaid. There are currently 7.2 million low-income seniors and disabled persons who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. Being enrolled in both programs is known as “dually eligible” and having this status can greatly reduce or hypothetically eliminate the cost of Medicare for the beneficiary.

Medicaid can provide coverage for a variety of medical services. Some of the services the program can cover are visits to your primary care doctor, hospital stays and laboratory services for a cheap cost or for free. The kind of benefits you are entitled to will partly rely on the state you are currently living in. The government allows the states to decide which medical services are thought to be “optional” within the state program.

Alongside the variety of Medicaid services among the states, the cost for the health care services can also change by state. In certain states, Medicaid is provided free of charge, while in other states beneficiaries need to pay a small premium determined by their income level. Some Medicaid state programs can include other fees like copayments. However, there is a limit to how much money a Medicaid recipient can be changed every year.  

After downloading our guide, you will have plenty of information to read over. This guide can help you learn about the programs that can be available to you. Additionally, the guide can help you navigate through the services that you are possibly entitled to. Over the course of a few days, you can expect our professionals to give you more information and remember to look in your inbox for that. While you wait, you will have a fundamental knowledge of the Medicaid benefits, centers for Medicaid services, discounted services and grants you may qualify for within the sections below.

Benefits From Medicaid

The two categories for Medicaid benefits are mandatory and optional. Benefits that fall within the mandatory category must be included in every Medicaid state program. Some examples of the services that the programs must include are:

  • Doctor’s services.
  • Early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment services (EPSDT).
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital services.
  • Transportation for medical care. 
  • Lab and X-ray services.
  • Certified pediatric and family nurse practitioner services. 

Mandatory services will be available in every Medicaid program nationwide. However, optional services will change depending on the state you are in. The certain services may or may not be available to you are as follows:

  • Dental services
  • Optometry services
  • Chiropractic services
  • Prosthetics
  • Speech, hearing and language disorder services
  • Prescription drugs

Centers for Medicaid Services

Known formally as the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS), this federal agency is under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The agency manages the Medicare program, the Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) and Medicaid programs to give access to inexpensive health care.

The CMS has played a prominent role in making sure that the federal and state health insurance marketplaces are following the regulations of the Affordable Care Act and other federal laws. Furthermore, the CMS provided a comprehensive amount of information to the public about these important and life-saving programs.

Services Available at Reduced Cost

Federal and state governments offer low-income households fund for immediate and long-term housing needs. Some programs provide subsidies for rentals by paying a portion of the monthly expense directly to the landlord. Other programs insure home loans of qualifying candidates to make homeownership more affordable. These programs include but are not limited to: 

  • The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8).
  • The Public Housing Program. 
  • FHA loans. 

If you are seeking affordable cable television for your household, there are many different options depending on your income level, the area that you live in and your personal preferences. Many internet and cable providers offer cheap services with a discount or other resources that can decrease your bills.  

You can potentially reduce the cost of your cellular or landline phone service through the federal program Lifeline. Lifeline provides monthly discounts through qualifying service plans and providers that are participants of Lifeline. In recent years, the Lifeline program was expanded to provide consumers the option of receiving monthly discounts towards a phone or broadband internet service. Additionally, consumers can receive a free smartphone as part of the Lifeline program. 

Likewise, contact your auto insurance provider about discounts you may be eligible for. Many insurers provide discounts that are based upon the length of time you have to remain insured through the company. Depending on your circumstances, you could qualify for discounts such as: 

  • Multi-policy discounts.
  • Multi-driver discounts.
  • Safe driver discounts. 
  • Defensive driver discounts. 
  • Military discounts.
  • Senior citizen discounts. 

Decreasing coverage on your policy may also be a way to reduce monthly expenses. For example, you may be receiving additional services such as emergency roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, or coverage limits well beyond the amount that you might need. Raising your deductible amount can also have a substantial impact on your premium. You may also reduce insurance premiums by requesting quotes from more affordable agencies. 

Learn About Grants From the Government 

Although government grants are meant to help Americans, they are not necessarily made exclusively for low-income Americans. Government grants are typically given to the state and local departments and organizations so it can benefit low-income communities through several local projects. There are times these local organizations can give one-time grants for financial help to someone applying. Companies or local organizations can give assistance with food, shelter and other household costs, which can vary from company to company. 

Although these grants are not exclusively for low-income households, there are many programs that can financially help in other ways, still lowering the costs needed for groceries, utilities and other fixed expenses. These government programs are but not limited to:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program (also known as Section 8 housing).
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

There may be other state and local programs that can provide assistance. You can learn more about local opportunities and outreach programs by contacting your local: 

  • Public Housing Agency (PHA). 
  • State Housing Finance Agency. 
  • HUD office.
  • State human or social services agency.

If you need food or lower the cost of your groceries, you can go to a local food bank. The purpose of these food banks is for families to have nutritious meals available to them. These banks will typically provide free food on either a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.

There may be a comprehensive list of local and state assistance programs for low-income individuals or households. If you want to find this list, contact your local Department of Health and Human Services. These offices will typically have the entire list of assistance programs in a given area.

 


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