What is Medicaid?

Medicaid, or Medical Assistance, is a state-run medical program that pays for medical bills for some people, such as people with low income, people are who are pregnant, the elderly, and people with disabilities 1.  Medicaid bills are paid for from federal, state, and local taxes.  Because Medicaid is run by the states, types of coverage and policies vary between states 2.

It is an entitlement, so if a person with a disability applies and qualifies, he will receive it 3.  In majority of the states, if one has Supplemental Security Income, he qualifies for Medicaid 4.

In order to apply for Medicaid, you must go to the Local Department of Social Services in the city or country of residence, and file an application 5. You can also fill out an application for coverage in your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

Medicaid Waivers

Medicaid Waivers are pilot programs that states utilize to test new or existing programs to deliver and pay for health care services in Medicaid and CHIP 6.  Medicaid Waiver is money that can pay for services for people with disabilities, which can take place in the home or in the community.  Medicaid Waivers are the biggest funding sources for people of all ages with disabilities, and they are not necessarily based on the family or individual’s income, but on types and levels of the disabilities.

The waivers were initially Medicaid funds that paid institutions and hospitals to take care of people with disabilities, and after the deinstitutionalization and advocacy by the parents, the funds that would have paid for people with disabilities to be institutionalized are spent to help people stay out of institutions 7.

Some services that Medicaid Waivers may pay for are hospital expenses, medicine, therapy, and adaptive equipment.  Medicaid Waivers enable families to pay for various expenses that are incurred due to disabilities 8.  Having certain Medicaid Waivers also makes one a more favorable candidate for employment through various programs that employ people with disabilities, and for assisted housing.

Every state has different waiver programs, organized by different departments 9.

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