The World Health Organization’s constitution affirms the importance of healthcare. Moreover, it deems healthcare as a right for every human being. However, over 1 billion people still lack access to rudimentary healthcare facilities.

There has long been a push for universal healthcare. While most developed countries have some form of universal healthcare, that’s not always been the case in the United States. However, the Medicaid program aims to change that.

Healthcare plays a vital role in people’s lives. Whether you have a medical emergency or need an annual checkup, you’ll need to visit healthcare facilities near you. While humans are capable of magnificent feats, the ongoing pandemic has shown the fragility of human bodies and lives. It’s now more apparent than ever that healthcare is a necessity rather than a luxury.

Serving nearly 82 million people, Medicaid is the US’s most extensive healthcare service. The US government created Medicaid in 1965 under the Social Security Amendments Act. Since then, the program has gone through numerous alterations, but it persists because of the benefits it bestows on people, particularly those from low-income households.

What is the Medicaid Program?

Medicaid is a public health insurance program in the United States. Approximately one in five Americans rely on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage. The program’s primary goal is to help low-income households receive the medical assistance they need. Medicaid covers a wide array of health services and limits out-of-pocket costs for people. The federal governments run the program in partnership with state governments. The federal authorities set mandated standards that state governments have to adhere to when administering the program.

A doctor using communications technology to treat a patient

What Does Medicaid Cover?

Medicaid covers numerous health services. These include hospital care and skilled nursing. In addition, Medicaid also covers doctor’s visits and in-home care. Moreover, it also picks up the cost for wellness screenings, preventative care, diagnostics, and medical transportation. Furthermore, states can also provide optional services, such as case management, hospice, personal care, prescription drug coverage, respiratory services, dental care, and vision treatment.

The Difference Between Medicaid and Medicare

Many people often confuse Medicaid and Medicare, and it’s easy to see why. They’re both health insurance programs that serve similar purposes. However, there are also some discernable differences between the two.

Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is solely a federal program that aims to provide healthcare access to people over 65 and with disabilities. Moreover, Medicare has numerous subcategories, referred to as Medicare A, Medicare B, Medicare C, and Medicare D. The federal government administers Medicare A and B programs. However, those utilizing the C and D parts will typically have a private insurance company handling their medical administration.

 A physician with a patient

Furthermore, those people who are part of the SSI program qualify automatically for Medicaid. On the other hand, if you’re part of the Social Security (SSDI) program, you’ll automatically be eligible for Medicare instead.

Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance, while Part B provides medical insurance. Medicare Part C offers a comprehensive coverage plan that includes everything from Parts A and B alongside prescription drug coverage – part of Medicare D.

Therefore, both programs differ despite their similar names. It’s also possible to be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid simultaneously. There are approximately ten million US citizens who are dual-eligible.

Determining Eligibility for Medicaid

Given the benefits of Medicaid, you’ll likely want the service, especially if you don’t have private health insurance. The federal government requires the state government to cover various groups for the Medicaid program. You can qualify for Medicaid coverage in several ways. They include:

Social Security Income (SSI)

If you’re a part of the social security income program, you automatically qualify for Medicaid. SSI coverage provides you with Medicaid. The SSI program covers much of the same demographics as Medicaid since SSI focuses on helping people who have low income or are above retirement age.

Financial Eligibility

If you don’t meet the requirements to qualify for the SSI program, you can still gain Medicaid coverage through an alternate route. Under the Affordable Care Act, US citizens that fall under or at 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible for Medicaid coverage. However, you must note that not all states have accepted the Affordable Care Act. Currently, there are 37 states plus the District of Columbia that have ratified the Affordable Care Act.

Non-Financial Eligibility

In addition to financial eligibility, there are also some non-financial requirements that you’ll have to meet to qualify for the Medicaid program. For instance, beneficiaries must be residents of the state they’re seeking Medicaid coverage to be eligible. Moreover, only citizens of the United States and qualified non-citizens – lawful permanent residents possessing Green Cards – can benefit from the program.

Getting a Free Cellphone with Medicaid

You might be wondering about the correlation between Medicaid and attaining a free cellphone, and your reservations are valid. However, the reality is that most people aren’t aware that being part of Medicaid also qualifies you for another government-assisted service, known as the Lifeline program.

A female doctor using her phone

The US government recognizes telecommunications as a necessity rather than a luxury, which is why they launched the Lifeline program under the administration of Ronald Reagan. The program aims to provide free cellphone services to low-income people. Lifeline Program is a cellphone assistance program offering free cellphone services to people. Given how widespread cellphones are in today’s world, it’s hard to imagine getting by without one. The government aims to ensure that people from low-income households don’t have to face hardships because they lack the means to own a smartphone. Hence, the institution of the Lifeline program.

If you’re looking to get free cellphone and data services, Life Link Today can help you. They are currently offering their services across all fifty US states and Puerto Rico.

Visit their website to sign up for free cellphone service today.

About The Author

Charlie Mann is a former healthcare worker. He retired from healthcare in 2018, and since then, has been working as an operations consultant. He currently works alongside Life Link Today, helping people get access to cellphone services. In his spare time, Mann enjoys reading science fiction novels, hiking, and sampling teas from all over the world.