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What Does Medicaid Cover?

In the complex and frequently changing landscape of health care in the United States, Medicaid stands out as a vital program. Since 1965, it has provided essential coverage to millions of low-income individuals and families. Alongside Medicare, Medicaid serves as a lifeline for those who may otherwise struggle to afford health care services.

Though Medicaid exists to help those who need it, navigating the specifics of what it covers and does not cover can be daunting. This article highlights the basics of Medicaid coverage, shedding light on its benefits and limitations.

The Basics of Medicaid

Medicaid offers health care coverage to individuals and families with limited income and relatively few assets. The program provides a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and preventive care. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program, so each state has the flexibility to administer the program differently within broad federal guidelines.

The eligibility criteria for Medicaid benefits can therefore vary from state to state. Generally, they relate to factors such as income, household size, disability status, and age. Some groups, such as children and pregnant women, may qualify based solely on income. Others, such as seniors and people with disabilities, may need to meet additional criteria.

Services covered by Medicaid also vary from state to state. Each state is required by federal law to provide Medicaid’s mandatory benefits. However, you cannot necessarily assume your state will cover the specific medical care you need.

Find out what Medicaid covers in South Dakota