“Medicaid was enacted in 1965 as part of the same law that created the Medicare program (the Social Security Amendments of 1965; P.L. 89-97). Medicaid was designed to provide coverage to groups with a wide range of health care needs that historically were excluded from the private health insurance market (e.g., individuals with disabilities who require LTSS or indigent populations in geographic locations where access to providers is limited). Because of the diversity of the populations that Medicaid serves, Medicaid offers some benefits that typically are not covered by major insurance plans offered in the private market (e.g., institutional and home and community-based LTSS or early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment [EPSDT] services).
“Medicaid also pays for Medicare premiums and/or cost sharing for low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities, who are eligible for both programs and referred to as dual-eligible beneficiaries. For other Medicaid enrollees, cost sharing (e.g., premiums and co-payments) generally are nominal, which may not be the case with coverage available through the private health insurance market. The Medicaid program pays for services provided by special classes of providers, such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), rural health clinics (RHCs), and Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities that provide health care services to populations in areas where access to traditional physician care may be limited.”
Source: Alison Mitchell, et al. Medicaid: An Overview. CRS R43357. Congressional Research Service: Washington, DC, updated Feb 22, 2021.
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Page last updated March 15, 2021 by Doug McVay, Editor.