Information for this section was found at CCMC’s glossary of terms page and the website.

CCMC Definitions Related to Medicaid

Medicaid- A joint federal/state program which provides basic health insurance for persons with disabilities, or who are poor, or receive certain governmental income support benefits (i.e. Social Security Income or SSI) and who meet income and resource limitations. Benefits may vary by state. May be referred to as “Title XIX” of the Social Security Act of 1966. 

Medicaid Waiver- Waiver Programs, authorized under Section 1915(C) of the Social Security Act, provide states with greater flexibility to serve individuals with substantial long-term care needs at home or in the community rather than in an institution. The federal government “waives” certain Medicaid rules. This allows a state to select a portion of the population on Medicaid to receive specialized services not available to Medicaid recipients. Definitions

Spousal Impoverishment- Protects the spouse still living in the community from becoming impoverished when the other spouse enters a nursing facility or other medical institution and is expected to remain there for at least 30 days. 

Treatment of Trusts- When an individual, their spouse, or anyone acting on the individual’s behalf establishes a trust using at least some of the individual’s funds, that trust can be considered available to the individual for purposes of determining eligibility for Medicaid. 

Transfers of Assets for Less Than Fair Market Value- This practice is prohibited for purposes of establishing Medicaid eligibility. Applies when assets are transferred, sold, or gifted for less than they are worth by individuals in long-term care facilities or receiving home and community-based waiver services, by their spouses, or by someone else acting on their behalf. 

Estate Recovery- State Medicaid programs must recover from a Medicaid enrollee’s estate the cost of certain benefits paid on behalf of the enrollee, including nursing facilities services, home and community-based services, and related hospital and prescription drug services. State Medicaid programs may recover for other Medicaid benefits, except for Medicare cost-sharing benefits paid on behalf of Medicare Savings Program beneficiaries. 


  • Run by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Is jointly funded by the States and the Federal government
  • States may charge premiums
  • States may establish out of pocket costs for the enrollee including copayments, coinsurance and deductibles
  • Historically fee for service, but increasingly more managed care options
  • Medicaid is always the last payer 


  • Varies from state to state
  • May start retroactively, up to 3 months prior to the month of application
  • Federal government sets minimum standards for “categorically needy”

– Limited income families with children who meet the requirements for Aid to Families with Dependent                 Children
– Pregnant women who meet income guidelines (Services limited to those related to pregnancy)
– Infants born to Medicaid eligible women, for the first year of life
– SSI recipients

  • Medically Needy

Medicaid Benefits

Each state establishes and administers their Medicaid programs. They also determine the type, amount, duration and scope of services, within the federal guidelines. States are required to cover certain “mandatory benefits,” and can choose to provide “optional benefits”. Below is a list of the mandatory as well as some of the optional benefits.

Mandatory Benefits

  • Inpatient hospital services
  • Outpatient hospital services
  • Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment services (EPSDT)
  • Nursing facility services
  • Home health services
  • Physician services
  • Rural health clinic services
  • Federally qualified health center services
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Family planning services
  • Nurse Midwife services
  • Certified Pediatric and Family Nurse Practitioner services
  • Freestanding Birth Center services 
  • Transportation to medical care
  • Tobacco cessation counseling for pregnant women

Optional Benefits

  • Prescription drugs
  • Clinic services
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech, hearing and language disorder services
  • Respiratory care services
  • Other diagnostic, screening, preventive and rehabilitative services
  • Podiatry services
  • Optometry services
  • Dental services
  • Prosthetics
  • Chiropractic services
  • Private duty nursing
  • Personal care
  • Hospice
  • Case Management
  • TB related services