The Medicaid program currently provides health care coverage to one in five Americans -- more than 70 million people.

Medicaid is the nation’s largest single source of coverage primarily serving low-income populations – children and their families, adults, seniors and disabled individuals. The program provides a broad array of health care services such as primary and acute care services, as well as long-term care services and supports.

Today, the program provides health coverage to half of all poor Americans and 40% of all children. Three-quarters of Medicaid adult enrollees are working and sixty percent of all nursing home residents are covered by Medicaid. For nearly 20% of Medicare enrollees, Medicaid helps with premiums, cost sharing and provider long-term care services.

Read on for more on this vital coverage program.

Medicaid: The Medicaid program provides health care coverage to more than 70 million people, or one in five Americans, and is the nation’s largest single source of health coverage. Beneficiaries are low-income populations, including children and their families, adults, seniors and disabled individuals. Medicaid provides a broad array of coverage for health care services, such as primary and acute care, as well as long-term care services and supports.

The federal and state governments jointly finance Medicaid and in 2016 the combined spending totaled approximately $575 billion. While the federal government sets the basic framework for the Medicaid program regarding the populations and benefits covered and the delivery of health care services and reimbursement, the states have latitude in the design and administration of their programs. In addition, states can pursue opportunities for innovation through the federal waiver process.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): The CHIP program was created 20 years ago to provide access to affordable health coverage for children living in families with income above Medicaid eligibility limits. Today, the program covers nearly nine million children.

Coverage through both the CHIP and Medicaid programs reduced the uninsured rate for children to its current historic low of five percent, while providing health coverage to nearly four out of 10 children in the U.S. Studies show that children on CHIP receive more comprehensive health benefits at lower costs than those offered by private insurance coverage.

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