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Your Guide to Public Health Care Programs
There are various public health insurance programs United States residents can enroll in. In most cases, these systems are available to candidates who are not offered or cannot afford private health insurance. Some of the most utilized medical insurance options are Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). However, petitioners must meet specific requirements that relate to age and earned income before they can enroll in these programs.
These health insurance plans vary slightly from state to state, but in general, they are uniform across the country. For example, Medicaid in one state may offer additional benefits to enrollees, such as dental coverage. However, basic health care plans are available to candidates who meet the programs’ financial requirements. The sections to follow will explain the differences between these three health care options and which groups of individuals may apply to each.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a medical insurance program that is available to candidates who are at least 65 years of age. However, in specific cases, Medicare may be available to younger applicants with disabilities or to petitioners who have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). With this form of health insurance, enrollees have the right to choose what type of plan they want.
There are four major types of Medicare health insurance plans beneficiaries can choose from. They include:
Part A, which provides enrollees with hospital insurance coverage.
Part B, which gives beneficiaries standard health care insurance.
Part C, also referred to as Medicare Advantage Plus, which is offered through a private, independent company.
Part D, which is an appendage to the program that offers enrollees coverage for prescription drugs.
Qualifying candidates may choose among these medical insurance plans once they enroll in Medicare. Unlike other public affordable health care programs, Medicare insurance takes into account beneficiaries’ ages instead of their income levels.
What is Medicaid?
The Medicaid health insurance program is funded in a partnership between the federal government and each state’s government. In most cases, Medicaid is utilized by low-income individuals and families who are unable to pay for private health insurance or whose jobs do not offer similar services. Furthermore, this healthcare insurance is also available to children, elderly enrollees and candidates who are blind or otherwise disabled. However, the main requirement that petitioners must meet in order to receive Medicaid relates to their overall incomes.
Each state is responsible for administering its own medical insurance plans to residents, although its version of the program must meet federal guidelines. However, there are specific health care services each state must provide. Examples of these required services include:
Inpatient and outpatient services at hospitals.
Required X-ray and laboratory services.
Medical transportation, such as ambulances.
Basic physician access.
What is CHIP health care?
Petitioners who do not qualify for Medicaid may be eligible to enroll in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Specifically, CHIP is available to children whose families’ incomes are too high for them to qualify for Medicaid. However, these families also do not earn enough income to afford other private medical insurance packages. Since each state is responsible for managing its own CHIP program, financial requirements vary depending on where petitioners live. This requirement generally fluctuates based on average household incomes for a particular state. Once they are accepted into the program, enrollees may use CHIP to access basic health care coverage. Examples of services that CHIP will cover include routine checkups and doctor visits, required immunizations and fees associated with necessary prescriptions.