A BPF View – Medicaid 101: Part I

biggerpieforum.org | A BPF View – Medicaid 101: Part I | Administrator
A Primer for the Everyday Joe on Medicaid
BPF is publishing a multipart series on the Medicaid program.  This being the first in the series, our goal is awareness and education regarding a large part of the state’s budget.
The rising cost of healthcare in the United States is a concern not only for individual citizens but also for the business community and the state and federal governments as well. One of the major issues that will be addressed during the 2018 legislative session is the reauthorization of the Medicaid program in Mississippi. Most people, legislators included, roll their eyes when they hear the term Medicaid. It is a complicated program but it might be worth deconstructing it a little bit to help folks understand it maybe just a little better.
Both Medicaid and Medicare began in 1965 with an amendment to the social security act. Both are health insurance programs that cover the cost of healthcare services such as doctors’ visits, diagnostic procedures and hospitalizations. Medicare covers the healthcare needs of individuals 65 and older. Medicaid covers the healthcare needs of families and children, pregnant women and individuals needing long-term care services (think nursing homes). To receive healthcare coverage by Medicare, there is no means test to qualify for the program. Just reach the age of 65, and you’re in. For Medicaid, there is a means test based on the federal poverty level (FPL). Those at a certain percentage of, or below the federal poverty level might qualify. This coverage depends on factors such as age and family status. The current FPL is an income level of $12,060 for a single individual, and $20,420 for a family of three.
The various categories of eligibility for the Medicaid program are based on family size and

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