Who Wualifies for Medicaid

Medicaid is a health insurance program for people with low income and few resources. It is funded by both the federal government and the state government, and each state has its own eligibility rules. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain income and resource limits. Your income must be below a certain level, and you cannot have too many assets. You must also be a U.S. citizen or a qualified immigrant. In some states, you can qualify for Medicaid if you are pregnant or have a disability.

Income Guidelines for Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid eligibility is determined by various factors, including income. The income limit varies by state and depends on the applicant’s household size and composition. Generally, individuals and families with incomes below a certain threshold qualify for Medicaid. Here’s an overview of the income guidelines for Medicaid:

1. Federal Poverty Level (FPL):

  • Medicaid eligibility is based on the federal poverty level (FPL) guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The FPL is updated annually and varies depending on household size and composition.
  • For example, in 2023, the FPL for a single individual is $13,590, and for a family of four, it’s $27,750.

2. Medicaid Expansion:

  • Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states were given the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the FPL.
  • As of 2023, 39 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid.
  • In expansion states, individuals with incomes below 138% of the FPL may qualify for Medicaid.

3. Income Limits:

  • The income limit for Medicaid varies by state and can range from 100% to 138% of the FPL.
  • In states that have not expanded Medicaid, the income limit is generally lower, typically around 100% of the FPL.
  • In expansion states, the income limit is higher, typically 138% of the FPL.

4. Special Eligibility Groups:

  • Certain individuals and families may qualify for Medicaid regardless of their income.
  • These groups include pregnant women, children under 19, people with disabilities, and individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

5. Resources Limits:

  • In addition to income, states may also consider an applicant’s resources when determining Medicaid eligibility.
  • Resources include assets such as cash, bank accounts, investments, and real estate.
  • The resource limit varies by state and can range from $2,000 to $10,000 for individuals and $3,000 to $20,000 for couples.

6. Income Verification:

  • To apply for Medicaid, individuals must provide proof of their income and resources.
  • This may include pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, and other financial documents.
  • States may also use electronic verification systems to confirm income information.

7. Changes in Income:

  • Individuals who experience changes in their income may need to report these changes to their state Medicaid agency.
  • Changes in income may affect Medicaid eligibility or the amount of coverage provided.
  • It’s important to keep the state Medicaid agency informed of any changes in income or household circumstances.

8. Resources for Applying:

  • Individuals can apply for Medicaid through their state’s Medicaid agency.
  • Applications can be submitted online, by mail, or in person.
  • States may offer assistance to individuals applying for Medicaid, including help with completing the application and gathering necessary documents.

Medicaid Eligibility: Asset Limits

Medicaid is a government-sponsored health insurance program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals and families. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, including income and asset limits.

Asset Limits

Medicaid has asset limits that determine whether you are eligible for coverage. Assets are resources that you own, such as cash, bank accounts, investments, and real estate (excluding value of your home and a vehicle).

Individual Asset Limits

  • $2,000 for individuals
  • $3,000 for individuals who are institutionalized

Couple Asset Limits

  • $3,000 for couples
  • $6,000 for couples who are both institutionalized

If you have assets that exceed the Medicaid asset limits, you may still be eligible for Medicaid if you meet certain criteria, such as:

  • You are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • You have a disability and your assets are in a special needs trust.
  • You have incurred high medical expenses that have reduced your assets below the limit.
Medicaid Asset Limits
$3,000 (institutionalized)$6,000 (both institutionalized)

Exempt Assets

Certain assets are exempt from the Medicaid asset limits, including:

  • Your home and the land it is on
  • One vehicle
  • Personal belongings and household goods
  • Life insurance policies with a death benefit of $2,000 or less
  • Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs
  • Burial plots and funeral expenses

Asset Transfer Rules

Medicaid has asset transfer rules that prevent people from giving away their assets to become eligible for Medicaid. If you transfer assets within 60 months of applying for Medicaid, the state may consider the transfer a fraudulent conveyance and deny your application.

To learn more about Medicaid eligibility and asset limits, contact your state Medicaid office.

Citizenship and Residency Requirements for Medicaid

To qualify for Medicaid, individuals must meet certain citizenship and residency requirements.


  • U.S. citizens
  • Legal permanent residents
  • Qualified non-citizens, including refugees and asylees


  • Must reside in the state where applying for Medicaid
  • Residency is not required for emergency medical services

Note: Some states may have additional citizenship and residency requirements for Medicaid eligibility. Check with your state’s Medicaid agency for more information.

Medicaid Eligibility Table

CitizenshipResidencyMedicaid Eligibility
U.S. citizenResides in the stateEligible for Medicaid
Legal permanent residentResides in the stateEligible for Medicaid after 5 years of residency
Qualified non-citizenResides in the stateEligible for Medicaid if meet other eligibility requirements
Any citizenshipDoes not reside in the stateNot eligible for Medicaid, except for emergency medical services

Special Eligibility Groups

In addition to the general Medicaid eligibility requirements, there are specific eligibility groups that may qualify for coverage under Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Pregnant Women

Eligibility for pregnant women varies by state, but generally, pregnant women with income up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are eligible for Medicaid coverage.


Children under the age of 19 are eligible for Medicaid if their family income is below 138% of the FPL.

Parents and Caregivers

Parents and caregivers of children who are eligible for Medicaid may also be eligible for coverage under Medicaid.

People With Disabilities

People with disabilities may be eligible for Medicaid if they meet certain income and disability requirements.

Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD)

ABD is a category of Medicaid eligibility for people who are aged 65 or older, blind, or disabled and have limited income and resources.

Eligibility for Specific Groups

Eligibility for Specific Groups
GroupEligibility Criteria
Pregnant WomenIncome below 138% of FPL
Children Under 19Family income below 138% of FPL
Parents and CaregiversIncome and relationship to eligible child
People With DisabilitiesIncome and disability requirements
ABDAge 65 or older, blind, or disabled with limited income and resources

Applying for Medicaid

To apply for Medicaid, contact your state Medicaid agency. You can find more information on state Medicaid agencies at the Medicaid website.

Well, folks, there you have it! I hope this article has answered your questions about Medicaid eligibility. I know it can be a complex and confusing topic, so I tried to break it down in a way that’s easy to understand. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and be sure to check back again soon for more helpful articles like this one.