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Medicaid

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care services. If you qualify for Medicaid in your state, you automatically qualify for Extra Help paying your Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

How to apply for Medicaid

Each state has different rules about eligibility and applying for Medicaid. Call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify and learn how to apply.

Medicaid spend down

Even if your income exceeds Medicaid income levels in your state, you may be eligible under Medicaid spend down rules. Under the "spend down" process, some states allow you to become eligible for Medicaid as "medically needy," even if you have too much income to qualify. This process allows you to "spend down," or subtract, your medical expenses from your income to become eligible for Medicaid.

To be eligible as "medically needy," your measurable resources also have to be under the resource amount allowed in your state. Call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify and learn how to apply.