DEFINITION of 'Medicaid'

A joint federal and state program that helps low-income individuals or families pay for the costs associated with long-term medical and custodial care, provided they qualify. Although largely funded by the federal government, Medicaid is run by the state where coverage may vary.


In many states, nursing home stays for non-skilled, custodial care is all that is covered, meaning staying at home and receiving medical care is not always an option. In addition, Medicaid may not be accepted by all nursing homes nor will it cover recreational activities or any other forms of non-medical care. However, it does cover the entire cost for your stay in a facility as long as you need the care.

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