Medicaid helps people with low incomes pay for medical bills. Medicaid is different than Medicare. Medicare provides coverage to people 65 or older and people with disabilities. Medicaid provides health care coverage to all low-income Americans.
Medicaid is a jointly funded federal-state program. It is administered by the states according to federal guidelines. Eligibility varies by state, but generally people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are eligible for Medicaid benefits.
Medicare beneficiaries also may receive Medicaid assistance for some services not covered by Medicare, such as prescription drugs, nursing home care, eyeglasses and other medical services.
The Medicaid program does the following.
It provides health care to 36 million people.
It provides some level of supplemental health coverage for 5.9 million Medicare beneficiaries, including prescription drug coverage, nursing home care and more.
It provides health insurance coverage for 18 million children.
It covers 45 percent of the nursing home and home care costs for 3.6 million Americans who suffer long-term, chronic illnesses.