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Public Health Insurance


Medicaid is a jointly funded, federal-state health insurance program for certain low-income and needy people. It covers approximately 36 million individuals including children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled and people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.

Within broad national guidelines that the federal government provides, each of the states establishes its own eligibility standards; determines the type, amount, duration and scope of services; sets the rate of payment for services; and administers its own program. Thus, the Medicaid program varies considerably from state to state, as well as within each state over time. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offers a wealth of information and a directory of state Medicaid offices on its website.


Medicaid Buy-In (Ticket to Work)

Through the landmark legislation, "Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999," individuals with disabilities no longer have to choose between taking a job and having health care. Individuals with disabilities who work and do not meet Medicaid eligibility criteria may buy into the program.

Like the Medicaid program, eligibility for the Ticket to Work program varies from state to state.


SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched the Insure Kids Now! campaign to link the nation's 10 million uninsured children to free and low-cost health insurance.

Every state has a health insurance program for infants, children and teens whose families do not qualify for Medicaid. Many families simply don't know their children are eligible.

The states have different eligibility rules, but in most states, uninsured children 18 years old and younger, whose families earn up to $34,100 a year (for a family of four) are eligible.


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The information provided on this website was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU38DD005376 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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