Home Health CareMedicaid: Help From Your State Government

Many people think Medicaid is a federal program, administered by the federal government like Medicare. But, it doesn't work that way.

It sounds confusing, but the fact is Medicaid is both a federal and a state program.

The Federal side of it.
The federal government established Medicaid to provide health care coverage for low income people and families who could not afford to purchase health insurance. At the federal level, Medicaid is a match-funding program: it provides money to the states, and each state must match the funding it receives from the federal program. It is an over-simplified statement, but think of Medicaid as giving each state a bank account of money, and then saying "You can only spend this money on health care for poor people, and you must match it with your own money dollar for dollar."

What Your State Does With Its Medicaid Funds
Each state sets their own rules for who gets Medicaid help, and decides what services it will cover. They are required to meet certain mandatory benefits, and can choose to provide other optional benefits.

As you might imagine, there is no such thing as a standard Medicaid program across all states. Each state is different. The program is not always called "Medicaid". There are different names for Medicaid from state to state.

Medicaid and Home Health Care

If you are enrolled in your state's Medicaid program -or if you plan to apply for the program-you will probably find that some home health care services are included.

In addition, there are special Medicaid plans, called Waivers, that provide for special groups of services. One of these is aimed specifically at providing home health care and personal assistance services.
Medicaid waiversSee more about Medicaid waivers.

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