Medicaid eligibility is determined on the state level. Each state’s qualification standards are different. For those that qualify, however, Medicaid can provide medical care to individuals who would otherwise not be able to afford health care services.

Medicaid Is a Need Based Program

The Medicaid program is need based. Thus, an individual hoping to qualify for Medicaid coverage must prove that his income is low enough to leave him unable to pay for his own medical treatment. Most states set a cap for the amount of income an individual may not surpass. Should the applicant’s income be higher than the state maximum, he will not qualify for Medicaid.

Eligibility Groups

Certain groups of individuals, such as pregnant women and small children, get preferential treatment when it comes to Medicaid eligibility. A woman who might not be eligible for Medicaid coverage on her own may discover that she qualifies for health care if she gets pregnant. Small children may also qualify for certain health benefits under the Medicaid program that their parents do not due to income restrictions.

Citizenship and Eligibility

Citizenship is not necessary to qualify for services under Medicaid. Legal immigrants may apply for Medicaid in certain circumstances. If the immigrant had a U.S. sponsor that is still living, however, the federal government may hold that individual responsible for the costs of the immigrant’s medical treatment under Medicaid.

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