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In the times of COVID and the subsequent lockdowns that it imposed not only in the US but across the world, the discussion regarding healthcare has been at the fore. Providing equitable and accessible healthcare to various diverse groups of the population has, rightfully so, become priority number one.

It goes without saying, but the pandemic was catastrophic not only because of the health risk it posed but also because of the economic recession and slowdown it left in its wake. These two combined make for a deadly and crippling blow to the healthcare of low-income and oppressed groups specifically.

It is precisely for these reasons that we turn our eyes today towards Medicaid, which is specifically designed to provide healthcare for the low-income groups in the US. The correct use and awareness regarding this program can save lives by the millions in the challenging times that we find ourselves in.

What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a federal-state medical assistance program that serves low-income people across different age groups. Essentially a public health insurance program, it provides coverage for 1 in 5 Americans and is the primary option of long-term care coverage for low-income citizens of the country.

Jointly financed by the states and the federal government, its structure and work differ from state to state while following a general universal federal plan across the country. Contrary to the federal medical insurance program Medicare, which is the same across the country, the medical assistance program Medicaid varies according to the state.

While that is the case, the individuals who avail of Medicaid have to usually pay little of their covered medical costs under the program, whereas individuals who avail of Medicare have to pay some parts of their covered medical costs through deductibles, etc.

As such, it is crucial that the people intended to benefit from this program can avail it. Since the program is a federal-state program, the eligibility differs from state to state and the application process might become a little tricky. If not done carefully, this could result in a rejection, here are the common reasons for a Medicaid denial.

The List of Services That Medicaid Provides

Each state, regardless of its own program benefits, has to ensure that the Medicaid Program covers the medical expenses of the following services in their states:

  • Inpatient hospital services
  • Outpatient hospital services
  • EPSDT: Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Services
  • Nursing Facility Services
  • Home health services
  • Physician services
  • Rural health clinic services
  • Federally qualified health center services
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Family planning services
  • Nurse Midwife services
  • Certified Pediatric and Family Nurse Practitioner services
  • Freestanding Birth Center services (when licensed or otherwise recognized by the state)
  • Transportation to medical care
  • Tobacco cessation counseling for pregnant women
  • Individual states can offer optional benefits, including but not limited to:
  • Prescription drugs
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Clinic services
  • Dental services
  • Optometry services
  • Chiropractic services
  • Podiatry services
  • Personal care
  • Hospice

Take Advantage of Medicaid

With the bountiful list of services that Medicaid provides for the low-income denizens of the country, if you fall into the target group, you should go to the Medicaid website and see if you qualify for your state’s Medicaid benefits. If you do, apply at this instant and take advantage of this public health program.

Parting Thoughts

If anything, the COVID pandemic has shown us is that there is a need to rapidly upscale the public health infrastructure. Medicaid is one of the crucial lynchpins which might help us in strengthening our public healthcare and prepare for any adversities should they come in the future.

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