What are the different types of Medicaid programs?



Typical Medicaid recipients are children and their parents, the elderly, and people with disabilities. According to federal guidelines, states may offer Medicaid to low-income pregnant women, low-income families with children, and SSI recipients. A state may also choose to cover other groups of people under Medicaid. For instance, states may choose to have "Medically Needy" Programs which allow people who don’t meet the Medicaid income requirements to be eligible for Medicaid if their income minus their medical expenses falls below a certain limit. States also may allow “Categorically Needy” people to receive Medicaid benefits. Categorically Needy people are working individuals with disabilities who do not qualify for Medicaid because their income exceeds the eligibility requirements. Additionally, recipients of Medicaid can be what are called “dual eligibles.” Dual eligibles are individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B and some form of Medicaid benefits.

Finally, most if not all states have Waiver Programs or as they are also known -- home and community-based services waivers. For the most part, these programs serve as an alternative to institution-based care. Waivers are used to enable states to provide healthcare in the recipient’s own home or community, instead of institutional services. Waiver programs typically allow recipients to have more income and assets than other Medicaid programs (and still be eligible for benefits)