What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a joint federal-state health insurance program for people with low incomes and people with disabilities. While people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) receive health care through a variety of sources in the United States, most are enrolled in Medicaid. They become eligible for it primarily through their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, which they receive because of their significant functional limitations and very low income or assets.

How does Medicaid work?

Medicaid provides both health insurance coverage and long-term services and supports for people with I/DD whose disabilities limit their daily activities. It will generally cover medical care that is not covered by other types of insurance. For example, Medicaid can pay for home health aides and transportation for medical services. An individual can have other insurance coverage and still apply for Medicaid. While Medicaid largely meets the healthcare needs of individuals with I/DD who receive SSI, it does not cover many of the other disability-related expenses that a family may face.

How much does Medicaid cost?

Applying for Medicaid is always free. There are no monthly premiums required to obtain health coverage through Medicaid. However, some who receive Medicaid will pay co-payments for certain services, such as non-emergency use of ER visits and prescription drugs. States determine what services require co-payments from Medicaid patients and rates are different in every state.

How do you know if you’re eligible for Medicaid?

New York State has the same eligibility requirements for Medicaid as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for people with I/DD. This means if a person is receiving SSI, they will automatically qualify for Medicaid. If you already receive SSI, then a separate application for Medicaid is not needed.

How do you apply for & enroll in Medicaid?

Enrollment for Medicaid is open year-round. To learn how to apply (or enroll if you’re already eligible for Medicaid because you’re receiving SSI), just go to the link below:

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