Medicaid (MediCal in California or MassHealth in Massachusetts)

Quick Description

Medicaid is a government-funded medical aid program. Medicaid aims to help low-income individuals pay for medical and long-term care.

Full Description

Legal Definition

Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities.

Medicaid is administered by states according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.

Detailed Answer

Medicaid is a state and federal medical assistance program. It provides health insurance to those who cannot afford private health coverage or out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

Medicaid also covers some long-term care services for those who qualify. It aims to help individuals who can't afford out-of-pocket long-term care costs. 

To qualify for Medicaid benefits, individuals must have little or no income and assets. Eligibility varies by state, marital status, financial resources, and other factors. 

There are two main types of long-term care programs under Medicaid. Only approved Medicaid providers can give long-term care under these programs. These are:

  1. Institutional services

  2. Home and community-based services

Institutional Services

Institutional Medicaid programs cover individuals who need institutional long-term care services. 

This program covers the full cost of nursing homes and similar facilities. The Institutional Medicaid program is available in all states.

Home & Community-Based Services

Home and community-based services focus on coverage outside of traditional institutions. This program covers services like in-home care and assisted living facilities. 

This program helps people with disabilities. These can include but are not limited to:


  • Developmental disability

  • Intellectual disability

  • Physical disability