How to Get a New Medicaid Card – Overview
Medicaid is government-sponsored health insurance for people with lower incomes. Today, over 60 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid. This health insurance program helps you if you don’t make much money or are on a limited budget, can’t work because of a disability, are already enrolled in Medicare but cannot afford its payments, or are pregnant and don’t make much money.
The US government requires Medicaid to provide insurance coverage to certain people, mainly those with significantly lower incomes. The government also determines the benefits that enrollees will receive under Medicaid.
The state governments are also an integral part of the Medicaid program and determine the specific eligibility criteria for qualifying. Usually, pregnant women and children, along with people with disabilities, get the most generous coverage under Medicaid.
Healthcare Under Medicaid
There are over 55 different Medicaid programs, one for each state and one for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories. Every Medicaid program may help pay for different types of healthcare services. The premium you have to pay for Medicaid benefits varies from state to state.
You can essentially use Medicaid coverage for many types of health care services. Medicaid benefits include coverage for diagnostic and screening test costs, including x-rays. This program helps to pay for doctor visits and even hospital stays.
Prescription drugs are covered under this program, and so is family planning. Medicaid also covers long-term service care for lower-income people in nursing home care.
If you have a child who qualifies, then Medicaid provides even more extensive coverage. For instance, you may receive financial help if your child needs to visit an optometrist or needs eyeglasses.
This health insurance program also covers the cost of most mental health services, including long-term care in your home, if your child requires it.
Besides this, Medicaid offers financial help if your spouse needs to be admitted to a nursing home.
Long-term hospice care can be very costly. If you qualify for Medicaid, you will receive sufficient coverage to stay at home while your spouse is being looked after at the nursing center.
Who is Eligible for Medicaid?
The individual state determines eligibility and qualifying rules for Medicaid benefits. Federal law requires that states can cover certain population groups. The states can also expand coverage to other groups or make the coverage more generous.
For instance, some states allow disabled people to get the full benefits of Medicaid regardless of their income. In contrast, other states may require you to meet the financial (low-income) criteria, even if you are disabled, to provide Medicaid benefits and coverage for treatment if your income is above the qualifying limit.
Your income is one of the biggest deciding factors for whether you are eligible for Medicaid insurance coverage. Most states have a specific cutoff limit on annual household income. If you fall below the specific limit, you may qualify for Medicaid benefits.
In addition, depending on the state, other beneficiaries like children, the elderly, pregnant women, and the disabled may also need to fulfill the income criteria to avail of Medicaid benefits.
Even if your income exceeds the minimum qualifying limit, you may still be eligible for Medicaid benefits, especially if your medical bills are high. Through the spend-down process, you may be allowed to subtract these expenses from your income.
Once the costs of hospital care and doctor visits are subtracted, your income gets lower, which qualifies you for Medicaid benefits. Besides this, the Affordable Care Act encourages states to add more people for Medicaid benefits.
The aim is to open up Medicaid to people with low income who cannot afford conventional insurance on their own but earn more than the minimum income criteria.
However, states can decide if they expand Medicaid to include more people. Check your state’s official Medicaid website to know more about this rule.
Getting a New Medicaid Card
In case you wish to apply for a new Medicaid Card or request to issue a replacement, you will need to contact your state Medicaid agency or apply through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
They can help you not only get a new Medicaid card but also help answer any queries regarding the type of healthcare services covered, the provider network to use, and how to renew your eligibility.
You can simply check beneficiary resources to contact your state Medicaid agency.
Medicaid helps millions of low-income individuals and households receive top-class but affordable healthcare services. Every state has specific eligibility criteria but a similar application process for a new Medicaid card.
Make sure to consult your state Medicaid agency or your doctor to know more about the eligibility criteria, application process, and insurance coverage details.