Do You Know Your Medicaid Law?

Medicaid was designed to cover low income individuals and their families for hospital services ( in and out patient), laboratory services, x rays, home nursing care, doctors services, physical therapy, hospice and rehabilitation care.  Medicaid recipients must go to a Medicaid-approved doctor who is on the Medicaid list.  Sometimes, in some areas, there are a limited number of doctors that accept Medicaid, so some individuals have to search carefully and, once they find the right physician that they are comfortable with that are Medicaid approved and accept Medicaid for payment.  As a result, there is often a waiting list for an appointment, even if it’s an urgent situation.  In a serious emergency, the doctor’s office may take you right away and “squeeze you in” to their schedule.  More often, they send you to the emergency room, which ends up costing you, taxpayers, the community, the hospital and Medicaid more money than if Medicaid reimbursed good doctors enough money to be able to enroll and appoint more, thus eliminating some of the long waiting line.

Federal laws state that if you become eligible for Medicaid, which is based on income and need, the states may not reduce other welfare benefits you are receiving.  In addition, we have been hearing a lot about trying to exclude legal immigrants from Medicaid system.  The problem with this is that Medicaid only requires – by law – for an individual to establish and prove residency (and meet low income requirements) to apply for and, if approved, receive Medicaid benefits.  States cannot impose citizenship requirements on anyone who needs Medicaid benefits.  Regardless of age or whether or not the individual works is not a reason that Medicaid can use to eliminate you from the program. 

Unfortunately, these situations are taking place in a number of states.  If you or someone you know feels that they are not being treated fairly regarding Medicaid benefits, you can contact some places that can help.  Information is available to you through www.seniorlaw.com.

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