What Medical Services Does Medicaid Cover?

A fellow caregiver asked...

What medical services does Medicaid cover?

Expert Answer

Every state's Medicaid program covers basic medical care, to the same extent that Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B do. This includes:

  • Inpatient hospital care

  • Inpatient short-term skilled nursing- or rehabilitation-facility care

  • Doctor services

  • Outpatient hospital or clinic care

  • Laboratory and X-ray services

  • Short-term home healthcare (provided by a home healthcare agency)

  • Ambulance service

  • Prescription drugs for people not covered by Medicare

For these basic services, Medicaid pays the Medicare deductibles and co-payments for people who are enrolled in both programs. Also, neither Medicaid nor the healthcare provider can charge the patient any co-payment above what Medicaid pays.

In some states, Medicaid coverage for medical care is even broader than what Medicare covers, with certain extra medical services. If a state Medicaid program covers an extra medical service, it can charge the patient a small co-payment for it. The extra coverage offered, and the co-payments for each extra service, vary from state to state but may include:

  • Eye examinations and glasses

  • Hearing tests and hearing aids

  • Dental care

  • Preventive screenings

  • Physical therapy (beyond what's offered under Medicare)

  • Nonemergency transportation to and from medical treatment

  • Some non-Medicare-covered prescription drugs and some nonprescription drugs, including certain vitamins

  • Chiropractic