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What does Medicaid cover?

Paying for medical care can be extremely expensive, especially as a person gets older and requires more care-related services. Planning for how you will pay for these services before you actually need them can allow you to protect your legacy and secure the care you want without requiring others to make these decisions for you.

One option you might be considering is Medicaid, or Health First Colorado, which is the state's Medicaid program. There are numerous benefits of this program.

What does Health First Colorado cover?

If you are eligible for Medicaid in this state, it can cover all or most of your health-related expenses as you get older. These benefits and services include:

  • Visits to your primary care doctor 
  • Visits to a specialist
  • In-home health care 
  • Telemedicine, or consults with physicians using technological mediums
  • Eye examples, contacts and glasses
  • Annual dental services
  • Visits to the emergency room
  • Emergency ambulance services
  • Urgent care center visits
  • Outpatient surgery and hospital services
  • Inpatient surgical and medical care
  • Services related to organ transplants
  • Anesthesia
  • Hospital
  • Private duty nurses for up to 16 hours per day
  • Chemotherapy services
  • Certain prescription drug costs
  • Wheelchairs, oxygen and other durable medical equipment
  • In-home physical, occupational or speech therapies
  • X-rays
  • Blood work

This is not an exhaustive list of benefits, and there are some exceptions and limitations. That said, considering the long list of services that Medicaid can cover, receiving benefits can be incredibly helpful and alleviate the financial burden of seeking care as we get older.

Eligibility and care planning

Keep in mind that not everyone is eligible for Medicaid benefits. It is a program designed to support people who meet income guidelines.

In Colorado, an adult can be eligible if he or she does not have dependent children and has a household income of no more than 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.

However, before you assume that you are not eligible or that you must spend down all your assets before applying for Medicaid, consider exploring options now, including care planning services. These services can help you design a plan that preserves your assets, coordinates your care, and dictates how you will pay for your medical needs when they arise, whether that includes Medicaid or not.

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