Understanding Medicaid: Health coverage in times of need

No one should live without health care coverage. But sometimes it can be hard to know what options are out there and what coverage you can get.

One of those options might be Medicaid. Enrolling in your state Medicaid program can be a great way to obtain health coverage. This is especially true if it’s been a while since you’ve had routine health care. A Medicaid plan can help you get back on track with regular health check-ups and screenings.

With that said, there can be a lot of confusion about Medicaid. Here are some things you might not have thought about.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a type of health insurance coverage available to eligible low-income individuals. It is also an option for some pregnant women, children and people with disabilities. About 80 million people in the United States had Medicaid at the beginning of 2022. Medicaid plans can be offered at a lower cost. Sometimes, they might not cost anything at all.

How does Medicaid work?

Medicaid is a federal and state program that provides health care coverage to qualified individuals. It could be called something different, depending on where you live. Since Medicaid is local to your state, the eligibility requirements and enrollment process could look a little different, too. 

Who might be eligible for Medicaid?

People in many stages of life might be eligible for Medicaid. This includes college graduates, people who have jobs and those who are unemployed, and new moms and babies.

In fact, 1 in 5 Americans are covered under Medicaid. This includes 37 million children across the country.

It may be a surprise to learn that Medicaid may be available to you, if:

  • You are currently working
  • You are in school
  • You are turning 26 and coming off your parent’s insurance
  • You weren’t eligible in the past

How do you get insurance through the Marketplace?

If you don't qualify for Medicaid where you live, you still might be able to get health care coverage another way. The Health Insurance Marketplace is another option for affordable, quality coverage with an “exchange plan.” A health care advisor can discuss the process and provide information to check your eligibility and help with enrollment.

Finding health care coverage can be a challenge. But it’s important to understand there are options that can help. Medicaid can provide the security you and your family need when you need it most.

To learn more, visit UnitedHealthcare Medicaid for Individuals & Families


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