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A person applying for Medicaid may wonder if he has to pay any premiums or co-pays. The most common way of asking this question is to wonder if Medicaid is free. A person who applies for this insurance program deigned to cover people with limited income usually does not pay any premiums for the health care coverage. Except for small co-pays, the program is free to them.

Coverage Still Costs Someone Money

When a person finds out the above answer to the question, “Is Medicaid Free?” may find this statement hard to understand at first. While a person who receives this benefit may pay very little out-of-pocket on doctors visits and prescription drugs, the doctors and hospitals still receive money for providing care. Federal and State taxes fund the Medicaid program. Some of the funding comes from income taxes and some funding comes from state sales taxes. The exact nature of the funding depends on the state.

What About Medicaid Co-Pays?

Although many doctors do not accept Medicaid, Medicaid covers far more services than a typical insurance program does. Medical, Psychological, and necessary dental services are all covered for people who have Medicaid in most circumstances. Is Medicaid free for everything? No emergency or long-term hospital stay generally does require a co-pay from the person who carries the insurance. Hospitals continue to bill the state agency until the claims are paid or the claim limit time runs out if the person who needed treatment does not remit payment. Prescription drugs also do not cost the person with Medicaid money. The client simply takes the card to a participating pharmacy and shows the card. Generic medications may not be covered on the card until several months after they become available. When a generic drug does become approved, most patients get switched over to the generic version of the drug. Doctors and pharmacists will warn the patient that this could happen.