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Fact Sheet
July 2015

Medicaid: Connecting Low-Income Seniors and People with Disabilities to Health and Long-Term Care

For seniors and people with disabilities, Medicaid is a vital health insurance program, covering the health care and long-term services they need. It also fills in gaps in Medicare coverage and helps make Medicare more affordable. Without Medicaid, many individuals and families would not be able to afford needed health care, long-term care, or home-based care.  

This fact sheet (PDF) explains that more than 16 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicaid. Nearly 10 million also have Medicare (these beneficiaries are known as “dual eligible”). For them, Medicaid helps pay for their Medicare out-of-pocket costs: Medicare premiums, deductibles, and cost-sharing. Without this help, many enrollees could not afford to use Medicare to see a doctor, fill prescriptions, or go to the hospital.

Medicaid gives states the flexibility to design programs that will work best for their residents. It helps seniors and people with disabilities get the health and long-term care they need. And it enables them to continue living in their communities by covering home- and community-based services like home health aides.