Medicaid was established to help low-income individuals pay for some or all of their medical bills. Possible Medicaid beneficiaries include pregnant women, children, people with disabilities, parents of eligible children, and senior citizens who need nursing home care.
Basically, there are about 25 different categories of Medicaid eligibility. These can be grouped into 5 general Medicaid coverages that include people over the age of 65, children, pregnant women who have children, adults with dependent children, and people with disabilities.
While each state has its own eligibility requirements, there are mandatory groups of people who qualify no matter where they live. These mandatory groups include:
The Affordable Care Act fills in current gaps in coverage for the poorest Americans by creating a minimum Medicaid income eligibility level across the country. Beginning in January 2014, individuals under 65 years of age with income below 133 percent of the FPL will be eligible for Medicaid.
For the first time, low-income adults without children will be guaranteed coverage through Medicaid in every state without need for a waiver, and parents of children will be eligible at a uniform income level across all states.
Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility and enrolment will be much simpler and will be coordinated with the newly created Affordable Insurance Exchanges.