Expanding Medicaid: State Options - Could Your State Do More to Expand Medicaid for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities?


Publication Date: November 2001

Publisher: Families USA

Author(s): Cheryl Fish-Parcham

Research Area: Health

Type: Report


Most seniors and people with disabilities receive some health coverage through the federal Medicare program. Still, Medicaid is crucial to low income seniors and people with disabilities because it pays their Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayments, and it also pays for services that are not covered by the Medicare program. For example, all state Medicaid programs provide some coverage for prescription drugs. Many state Medicaid programs also provide coverage for personal care services (home care that assists with bathing, dressing, and other activities of daily living), podiatry, eye examinations, eyeglasses, and dental care (including dentures) -- services that are not generally covered under Medicare. Studies have shown that Medicaid greatly improves access to health care: Low-income seniors with Medicaid are more likely to see doctors and have a usual source of care, and they are less likely to delay care due to costs, than are low-income seniors who have only Medicare.