What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals and families who cannot afford health care costs. The income thresholds can be found here. Refugees automatically qualify for Medicaid when they arrive in the US.
When does Medicaid kick in and how long is it available?
The Medicaid application can take up to 30 days to process, but it is possible to receive the Medicaid card more quickly. Medicaid is available to refugees for 8 months after they arrive in the US. After the 8 months, families with children can reapply for their children, but not for the adults. The adults will have to buy their own health insurance at that point. Pregnant woman may be eligible for Medicaid coverage during their pregnancy. Source: http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/forms/dma/dma-5000.pdf.
Medicaid may help pay for certain medical expenses such as:
- Doctor Bills
- Hospital Bills
- Prescriptions (excluding prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries)
- Vision Care
- Dental Care
- Medicare Premiums
- Nursing Home Care
- Personal Care Services (PCS), Medical Equipment, and Other Home Health Services
- In-home care under the Community Alternatives Program (CAP)
- Mental Health Care
- Most medically necessary services for children under age 21
*Note: A refugee with Medicaid will have to pay a $3 co-pay at every appointment.
Volunteers can help:
- Apply or reapply for Medicaid. See the Public Assistance Application page. Make sure to teach your refugee partner(s) this process while you help. You can make copies of paperwork to leave with the family.
- Helping refugees understand the importance of seeking medical care and addressing medical issues while they still have Medicaid coverage.
- Assist with health issues. More info on the Healthcare Overview Page.