July 30th marks the 56th anniversary since the Medicaid program started! Since its creation in 1965, Medicaid has changed over time to expand who qualifies and what services are covered. It provides essential coverage to individuals and families with limited incomes and has allowed Pennsylvanians of all ages to access quality health care services. Older adults and people with disabilities rely on Medicaid to cover long term care services that enable them to stay living as independently as possible at home or in the community. Medicaid covers nursing home care when staying in the community is not possible or is not the preference of the individual needing services.
Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program currently covers over 3 million of our family members, friends, and neighbors. It has been a lifeline for people who have been otherwise unable to get or afford health insurance, people with chronic medical conditions who need expensive treatment, and people with substance use disorders who need services. Medicaid has improved maternal and child health and has helped children and adults with disabilities get care and services that aren’t covered by other insurances such as ongoing home health services and skilled nursing as well as day programs and employment supports. Medicaid helps people get preventive care to remain as healthy as possible, has connected people to vital mental health care services, and helps pregnant women have access to prenatal care and deliver healthy babies.
Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program has many benefits but it’s not without its challenges. As a legal services program that specializes in helping Pennsylvanians access coverage and services through Medicaid, PHLP sees first-hand how important Medicaid coverage and services are and the problems people face getting this coverage and getting medically necessary services and supports. Visit our website to read about client success stories and learn more about the importance of Medicaid for our fellow Pennsylvanians. Visit Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services website for more information about the Medicaid program.
On Medicaid’s anniversary, PHLP pauses to reflect on how much the Medicaid program means to vulnerable populations and the successes achieved since its creation. We also renew our commitment to continue helping Pennsylvanians access Medicaid coverage and services as well as pursuing systemic improvements to benefit the people who turn to us for help and, perhaps more importantly, those who do not.