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Many Ohio residents fall back on Medicaid when they get older or are struggling to make ends meet. Medicaid was created for low-income people as a public health insurance program. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the program provides insurance to one in five low-income Americans. Many of these individuals have costly and complex needs when it comes to medical care. Of the total personal health care spending in the United States, Medicaid finances nearly a fifth of it.

There is a partnership between the state and federal government when it comes to Medicaid. Through the program, individuals are entitled to certain benefits within the guidelines of the program and states are given matching federal funds for what they pay for a covered person’s health care. The federal government is responsible for defining the core requirements on benefits and eligibility while the state can manage the program set by the federal guidelines with a little more flexibility.

Medicaid.gov lists mandatory benefits that are covered under Medicaid for those who qualify. These benefits include but are not limited to rural health clinic services, inpatient hospital services, transportation to and from medical care, nursing facility services, physician services and home health services. Some optional benefits include dental services, prescription drugs, hospice, eyeglasses, prosthetics, private duty nursing services and podiatry services.

Medicaid caters to elderly individuals for things such as nursing home costs. It also covers those with disabilities such as children with autism, those with mental illness, HIV/AIDS and cerebral palsy. Finally, Medicaid is designed to service low-income families including children and pregnant women who require immunizations, speech therapy, emergency dental care and pre-natal care or delivery costs.