Message from the CMCS Director
Welcome to Medicaid.gov, your one-stop-shop for Federal policy and program information about Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Basic Health Program.
These critical health coverage programs serve millions of families, children, pregnant women, adults without children and also seniors and people living with disabilities. In addition to covering services like doctor's visits, prescription drugs, and preventive care, Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities receive long term services and supports in their communities as well as in nursing homes. Together, these programs provide an important foundation for maintaining the health of our nation.
Our team at the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) is passionate about the people we serve, and we are committed to working in close partnership with states, as well as providers, families and other stakeholders to support effective, innovative, and high quality health coverage programs. I invite you to browse our website for federal policy guidance information and data regarding state Medicaid and CHIP programs. We are also continuing to add new features, many of which focuses on delivery system reform. For information about applying for Medicaid and health coverage through the Marketplace, please visit www.HealthCare.gov or your state’s Medicaid program website. If you are interested in coverage for your children, you may also want to visit www.InsureKidsNow.gov.
CMS Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services
The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services
The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) is one of six Centers within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CMCS serves as the focal point for all national program policies and operations related to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Basic Health Program (BHP).
Authorized by Title XIX of the Social Security Act, Medicaid was signed into law in 1965 along side Medicare. All states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have Medicaid programs. Medicaid provides health coverage to nearly 60 million (check) low-income people and is one of the largest payers for health care in the United States. The Federal government establishes certain parameters for operation of the states’ Medicaid programs, but each state administers the program, resulting in variations in Medicaid coverage across the country. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act provides states the authority to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals under age 65 in families with incomes below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and standardizes the rules for determining eligibility and providing benefits through Medicaid, CHIP and the health insurance Marketplace. For a more detailed overview of Medicaid, please see A Brief Summary of Medicaid.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was signed into law in 1997 and provides federal matching funds to states to provide health coverage to nearly 8 million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who can’t afford private coverage. All states have expanded children’s coverage significantly through their CHIP programs, with nearly every state providing coverage for children up to at least 200 percent of the FPL.
Basic Health Program
The Basic Health Program was enacted by the Affordable Care Act and provides states the option to establish health benefits cover programs for low-income residents who would otherwise be eligible to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, providing affordable coverage and better continuity of care for people whose income fluctuates above and below Medicaid and CHIP levels.