Medicaid Issues for People with Disabilities

Provided by The Arc of U.S.

Medicaid is the nation’s primary health insurance program for persons with disabilities and low-income populations. The program currently covers 60 million low-income Americans including nearly 30 million low-income children, 15 million adults and 8 million non-elderly people with disabilities. The federal government sets minimum eligibility levels for coverage and then states have the option to expand eligibility. Medicaid is jointly funded by states and the federal government. The federal government pays an average of 57 percent of Medicaid costs, with a range of 50 to 76 percent. Medicaid programs have different names in each state (for instance, Medical in California).

Medicaid is a lifeline for most people with significant disabilities who have greater medical needs and often require assistance with activities of daily living throughout their lifetimes, such as getting dressed, taking medication, preparing meals, and managing money. Medicaid is overwhelmingly the largest funding source of both acute health care and long term services and supports for most of our constituents since people with disabilities who are covered by Medicaid generally do not have access to employer based or other private coverage.