What Are the Medicaid Income Guidelines?

Medicaid is a form of government-subsidized health care for low-income families and individuals. Under federal guidelines, Medicaid is available for individuals under 65 who earn less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. However, exact income requirements vary by state and often differ slightly compared to federal guidelines.

Female Doctor Using Digital Tablet Talking With Patients
Medicaid coverage and expenses vary according to where you live.
credit: Monkey Business Images Ltd/Monkey Business/Getty Images

Federal Guidelines

The federal maximum income level varies depending on the size of the household. For example, the federal poverty level for a family of one is $11,670 as of publication. The maximum income an individual could earn and still qualify for Medicaid is 133 percent of $11,670, or $15,521. However, the federal poverty level for a family of three is $19,790, and the maximum income level under Medicaid is $26,320.

Exceptions and Nuances

Although Medicaid programs all follow the general federal guidelines, exact coverage and costs vary by state. In addition, Alaska and Hawaii have unique, higher federal poverty level guidelines. Most states offer Medicaid for children even if the family is above the 133 percent limit, and others impose a dollar value limit on income instead of a percentage of the federal poverty limit. Visit your state Medicaid website to find the exact guidelines.