What Is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a government benefits program that is funded by both the federal and state governments, with individual states responsible for the administration and operation of the system. The program is intended to benefit low-income individuals, including those with special needs and elders needing long-term care.
Medicaid benefits can help cover a wide array of healthcare categories, including:
- Doctor visits
- Hospital and emergency visits
- Long-term healthcare and medication
- Custodial care for elderly individuals and those with special needs
It is important to understand that those who qualify for Medicaid do not receive direct monetary benefits. Instead, the state-level Medicaid program pays healthcare practitioners for the eligible services that they provide. Medicaid benefits can help many struggling with limited income to procure critical care, especially for those who are unable to work.
Who Qualifies for Medicaid?
Broadly, only U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other legal immigrants can be found eligible for benefits. States set their own individual coverage requirements, but generally speaking, only individuals with low incomes tend to qualify.
North Carolina determines qualifying “low income” by evaluating your gross annual household income relative to your household size. The more people in your household, the greater overall income you can have and still qualify. If you live alone, the maximum income is currently set at $16,971. For a family of four, you can collectively make up to $34,846 and still be eligible.
In addition to having a “low income,” Medicaid benefits in North Carolina are reserved for those who are at least one of the following:
- At least 65 years old
- Parent to or legally responsible for at least one minor child
- Living with a disability
- Living with and supporting a loved one with a disability in your household