During Week 8, I learned how Medicaid payment plans work. Medicaid is a Federal-State health insurance program for low income people which covers children, elderly, blind, disabled, and others who are eligible. Federal Law requires states to cover certain groups and individuals such as low income families, qualified pregnant women, and individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income. The Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010 created the opportunity for states to expand Medicaid to cover nearly all low income Americans under the age of 65. With the expansion, eligibility for children extended to at least 133% of the Federal Poverty Level in every state.
I learned that states establish and administer their own Medicaid programs. They determine the type, amount, duration, and scope of the Medicaid services they want to provide. Federal law requires states to have some mandatory benefits such as labs and x-rays, hospital services, physician services, and home health services. States can also provide optional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
During Weeks 9 and 10, I will begin the final stretch of my internship and write my research paper and prepare slides for my presentation at school. It has been a steep learning curve for me but I have understood the basic structure and economics of healthcare in our country.