Medicaid is a public health insurance program in the United States that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals and families, as well as people with disabilities. It is jointly funded by the federal and state governments and administered by each state according to federal guidelines. The benefits of Medicaid in New York State (NYS) are comprehensive and include a wide range of healthcare services for eligible individuals. Some of the benefits that are covered by NYS Medicaid include:
- Doctor visits: Medicaid covers visits to primary care doctors and specialists.
- Hospital care: Medicaid covers hospital stays, emergency room visits, and outpatient services.
- Prescription drugs: Medicaid covers prescription drugs that are medically necessary.
- Laboratory and radiology services: Medicaid covers laboratory tests, x-rays, and other diagnostic tests.
- Behavioral health services: Medicaid covers mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
- Dental and vision care: Medicaid covers some dental and vision services for children and adults.
- Long-term care: Medicaid covers nursing home care and home care services for eligible individuals who need assistance with daily activities.
- Transportation: Medicaid covers transportation to and from medical appointments for eligible individuals.
- Health screenings and preventative care: Medicaid covers health screenings and preventive care services such as immunizations, mammograms, and pap smears.
Aside from these covered services, there are seven additional benefits to Medicaid that could significantly reduce your living expenses:
- Affordable Connectivity Program: The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) gives recipients of Medicaid the ability to save $30 on internet services monthly. If your application is approved, you will be able to sign up for an internet plan that participates in this program. If your current internet provider participates in this program, just simply link your account with your program ID and within 1-2 months your discount will be applied to your account monthly.
- SafeLink Wireless Program: SafeLink Wireless is a government supported program that provides cell phone services to Medicaid recipients and income eligible customers free of charge. Safelink Wireless is a private company and is not connected to any federal, state, or city agency.
- Amazon Prime Medicaid Discount: If you are a recipient of Medicaid, you can sign up for Amazon Prime and receive 50% off in monthly or annual membership fees (depending on how you pay for the subscription). After a year, you will need to reapply for your discounted membership rate. To qualify, you must show proof of eligibility.
- Reduced or Free Museum Admission: Most individuals who qualify for Medicaid qualify for food stamps (EBT or SNAP). If you are a recipient of SNAP, many museums in NYC offer free or reduced admission. All you need is your EBT card and a valid photo ID to enter. If you are interested in visiting a museum, call their help desk to see if they offer these promotions.
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): The HEAP program is a federally funded program that helps low income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills. If you are a Medicaid recipient, you will qualify for HEAP. All you need to do is talk to your utility company, and they will advise you on the steps to take in order to receive discounts on your bills.
- Energy Assistance Program (EAP): The Energy Assistance Program is offered by Con Edison customers who are Medicaid recipients. Those who qualify for EAP can receive significant discounts on their monthly electricity bills. You may be automatically enrolled, but if you are not, all you need to do is fill out the application to get approved.
- Residential Reduced Rate Application: The Residential Reduced Rate Application is offered by National Grid customers who receive Medicaid benefits. Those who qualify for Medicaid will also qualify for a reduced rate on their National Grid gas bills. All you need to do is fill out the application and wait for approval.
While the main purpose of Medicaid is for recipients to receive health care coverage, there are many additional benefits to being eligible for Medicaid. If you or a loved one have questions about applying for Medicaid, contact Medicaid planning attorney, Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2394.