Medicaid is a linchpin in meeting the health needs of low-income individuals and families in the United States. It has grown enormously in scope and depth over the past four decades. During that time, federal policy has evolved considerably. Within federal parameters, states have substantial flexibility in crafting their Medicaid programs with regard to who will be served and which services will be offered. To incorporate Medicaid financing into systems that support working-age adults with serious mental illnesses, states must examine how they can employ Medicaid's flexibility to advance their goals and objectives.
The next chapter discusses in detail how federal rules affect Medicaid eligibility for adults with serious mental illnesses. A state's eligibility policies play a critical role in determining the extent to which people with serious mental illnesses can receive Medicaid services.