by David Bynon, last updated

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a public health insurance program that provides health care coverage to low-income families and individuals in the United States. Jointly funded by the federal government and individual states, Medicaid is at the state level. As a result, coverage and benefits vary widely from state to state.

Medicaid is strictly available to individuals and families who meet the federal government’s stringent income-based criteria. Recipients are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or legal immigrants.

As of year-end 2020, Approximately 70.6 million people were covered by Medicaid. The overall program is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Medicare beneficiaries who meet the income guidelines may also receive Medicaid benefits. These dual-eligible individuals gain access to a range of Medicare Savings Programs and Extra Help from the Social Security Administration.

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