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Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage to some low-income Florida residents. Medicaid covers families with children and pregnant women, medically needy individuals, the elderly, and people with disabilities, if state and federal guidelines are met. Legal residents who are not U.S. citizens may be eligible for Medicaid, questions concerning immigration status and eligibility should be directed to the Florida Department of Children and Families more information.

· For certain categories of people, eligibility for Medicaid is based on the amount of your household income.

In Florida you may be eligible for Medicaid if you are an infant, a child, pregnant, the parent of a dependent child, medically needy, elderly, or disabled, and your family income meets the Medicaid income standard.

Income eligibility levels for these categories are described below. Your assets and some expenses also may be taken into account, so you should contact the Florida Department of Children and Families for more information.

Low income persons eligible for Medicaid in Florida*

Category                 Income eligibility (as percent of federal poverty level)

Infant                     200% (monthly income of about 3,052 for family of 3)
Child 1-5                 133%
Child 6-18                100%
Pregnant woman       185%
Working Parent         55%
Non-Working Parent   21%
Medically Needy
    Individual             25%
    Couple                 25%

* Eligibility information was compiled State Health Facts Online, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and may have changed since this guide was published. Contact your state Medicaid program for the most up to date information and for other eligibility requirements that may apply.

To get an idea of how your income compares to the federal poverty level,* use the federal poverty guideline issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the year 2009:

Size of Family Unit          Poverty Guideline (annual income)

      1                                    $10.830
      2                                    $14,570
      3                                    $18,310

For larger families add $3,740 for each additional person

So, for example, using this guideline, 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of 3 would be an annual income of $36,620 or a monthly income of $3,052.

* Contact your state Medicaid program for the most up to date information and for other eligibility requirements that may apply.

· Parents who receive benefits under TANF (also known as Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency, or WAGES) should know that when you get a job and your TANF benefits end, you generally can stay on Medicaid for a 12-month transitional period.

In addition, your children may qualify for transitional Medicaid coverage for 12 months. Or, you may continue to qualify for Medicaid on the basis of your family’s income if it meets the Medicaid income standards.

· Very poor elderly or disabled people who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits also qualify for Medicaid.

Disabled individuals should know that if your income earned from a job increases so that you no longer qualify for SSI, you may be able to continue your Medicaid coverage at least for a limited time.

· People who have high medical expenses may also qualify for Medicaid. You may qualify as medically needy if you are a child, parent of a dependent child, pregnant, elderly, or disabled and have high medical expenses that, when subtracted from your income, would make you eligible for Medicaid coverage. For example, people who have to pay a lot for prescription drugs, nursing home care, or other long term care services sometimes qualify as medically needy if they do not have health insurance that covers these services.

· Retired or disabled people who have low incomes and are enrolled in Medicare may also qualify for help from Medicaid. Even though your income may be too high to qualify for Medicaid insurance coverage, there may be other ways Medicaid can help you.

If your household income does not exceed 100% of the poverty level, Medicaid will pay your Medicare monthly premium and your Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. This is called the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program.

If your household income is below 120% of the poverty level, Medicaid will pay for your monthly Medicare premiums only. This is called the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program.

Contact the Department of Children and Families for more information about other eligibility requirements.

· There may be other ways that Medicaid can help. To find out if you or other members of your family qualify for Medicaid, contact the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, or to apply for Medicaid, contact the Department of Children and Families Office for the district office in the city or county in which you reside.

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