Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that:
- Helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources
- Offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care services
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 you have too much income to qualify, some states let you "spend down" to become eligible for Medicaid. The "spend down" process lets you subtract your medical expenses from your income to become eligible for Medicaid. In this case, you're eligible for Medicaid because you're considered "medically needy."
To be eligible as "medically needy," your measurable resources must also be under the resource amount allowed in your state. Call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify and learn how to apply.
If you have Medicare and full Medicaid coverage, most of your health care costs are likely covered.
You can get your Medicare coverage through
. If you have Medicare and full Medicaid, you'll get your Part D prescription drugs through Medicare. And, you'll automatically qualify for
paying for your
. Medicaid may still cover some drugs and other care that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Who pays first—Medicaid or Medicare?
Medicare is working with some states and health plans to offer demonstration plans for certain people who have both Medicare and Medicaid and make it easier for them to get the services they need. They’re called Medicare-Medicaid Plans. These plans include drug coverage and are only in certain states. Find out if a Medicare-Medicaid Plan is available in your area.