Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage to some low-income Maryland 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. Non-citizens who do not have immigration documents cannot enroll in Medicaid. Most Medicaid enrollees receive their care through the Maryland mandatory managed care program, the HealthChoice Program.
- For certain categories of people, eligibility for Medicaid is based on the amount of your household income.
In Maryland you may be eligible for Medicaid if you are an infant, a child, pregnant, or a parent of a child and your family income meets the Medicaid income standards.
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 Department of Social Services for more information.
Low income persons eligible for Medicaid in Maryland
Category — Income eligibility (as percent of federal poverty level)
Child 0-18 — 200% (monthly income of about $2,862 for family of 3)
Working — 38%
Non-working — 31%
Pregnant woman — 250%
Individual — 49%
Couple — 41%
* Eligibility information was compiled from 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 2007:
Size of Family Unit Poverty Guideline (annual income)
-For larger families add $3,480 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 $34,340, or a monthly income of $2,862.
-Contact your state Medicaid program for the most up to date information and for other eligibility requirements that may apply.
- Families who get cash benefits from TANF (also known as FIP or Family Investment Program) can get Medicaid.
Parents 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.
Parents should know that when your family’s TANF benefits end, your children may also qualify for transitional Medicaid coverage for 12 months. Or, your children may qualify for Medicaid themselves if your family’s income meets the Medicaid income standards.
- Very poor elderly or disabled people who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can 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 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 don’t 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 is below 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 135% 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 Social Services 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 Maryland Department of Social Services.