The Application Process For TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and SCHIP. Medicaid


Medicaid is the largest public program for financing basic health and long-term care services for low-income families and individuals. Historically, Medicaid eligibility was tied to eligibility for cash assistance, primarily through AFDC and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but during the 1980s, states began expanding coverage to children and pregnant women who did not qualify for cash assistance.2 Medicaid eligibility varies by state, age, disability status, and other criteria. However, at a minimum, children are income eligible for coverage if family income is below 100 percent of poverty. Younger children, through age five, are eligible with slightly higher incomes, at a minimum of 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Income eligibility thresholds for Medicaid or other public-sponsored coverage have risen markedly since the enactment of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (see below), and now hover slightly above 200 percent of the poverty level on average.

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