Many people who want to apply for Medicaid usually ask if they have to pay for Medicaid. They want to know if they have to pay premiums like in regular private insurance. There are also a number of people who frequently ask if Medicaid is free.
Medicaid is intended for people who belong to low-income levels set by the government. This determining factor may vary from state to state, but common to all of them is that there are no premiums that individuals need to pay for Medicaid. If ever they would need to pay for anything, it would be small amounts for what are called co-pays, but otherwise Medicaid is free.
Many people find it hard to believe at first that Medicaid can give them assistance and benefits for free. Although there will be instances when people will still need to put out a minimal amount of cash when paying for consultations with doctors or for medicine, the rest of the charges by doctors and hospitals are covered by Medicaid.
Medicaid is primarily funded by the federal government. The funding comes from income taxes collected by the federal government. The state also has input into funding Medicaid, mostly coming from taxes from sales imposed by the state. Again, sources for funding and the exact amount allotted by the local government may differ in various states.
There are groups of people who say that since they are paying taxes and some of it goes into Medicaid funding, they are sort of paying premiums for it. This may be partly true, but there are other people who pay taxes but are not under or receiving any benefits from Medicaid since they do not qualify for the program because of the low-income eligibility requirement. There are instances when individuals who are staying at nursing homes for a long time and used to have Medicare get qualified into Medicaid after all of their finances are used up.
While it is true that there is no premium required to pay for Medicaid, there are some services or items that is not covered by the program or will not be entirely covered in some states. Examples of these services are certain kinds of surgery or emergency medical services. Medicaid may pay for the patient’s stay at the hospital, but they will charge them a small amount for doctor’s fees and other hospital items.
Other services commonly covered by Medicaid are psychological treatments and dental services that are really needed. Most prescription drugs are covered under the program, although some generic medicines may not be included until they become approved.
Since there is no premium or fee paid for it, Medicaid does not send its recipients any receipt or monthly bill, so there will be times when people under the program may exceed the limit set by the state for benefits. If this happens, they may be taken out or disqualified from the program and may need to obtain private health insurance. Another option for people are low-cost state run insurance, which unlike Medicaid, has premiums, but are lower compared to private health insurance.