Q) I have a question about what can be bought on Medicaid. I have noticed when I am in line people purchasing items like, bakery cakes and coca colas. I was under the impression that medicaid was for the essentially for survival. I do not consider birthday cakes a existential item. Please inform me about what my tax dollars will cover. I do not have a problem with providing a lone star card for those in need but I do not like to see it abused.
A) Medicaid is a healthcare program that provides coverage for medical and health-related services to eligible individuals and families. As I mentioned earlier, Medicaid typically does not cover the cost of items or products that are not directly related to medical or health-related needs.
However, some states have programs that provide food assistance to Medicaid beneficiaries through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the food stamp program. SNAP is a federal program that provides assistance to low-income individuals and families to help them purchase food.
Under SNAP, eligible individuals receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is similar to a debit card, to purchase food items that are eligible for the program. SNAP has specific rules about what types of food items can be purchased with EBT cards, and these rules may vary by state.
In general, SNAP benefits can be used to purchase most food items, including bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase non-food items, such as alcohol, tobacco, vitamins, and hot prepared foods.
Here are some examples of medical supplies and equipment that may be covered by Medicaid:
- Durable medical equipment (DME), such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, and oxygen equipment.
- Medical supplies, such as bandages, catheters, and ostomy supplies.
- Prescription drugs, including brand-name and generic drugs that are approved by the FDA.
- Diagnostic tests and procedures, such as X-rays, MRIs, and blood tests.
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy services.
It’s important to note that coverage may vary by state and by the individual’s specific Medicaid plan. Some states may also have additional Medicaid programs that provide coverage for certain non-medical services or products, such as transportation or home modifications. If you have specific questions about what is covered under your Medicaid plan, you can contact your state’s Medicaid agency or your Medicaid managed care plan.
It’s possible that you may have seen individuals using their EBT cards to purchase non-food items or items that are not eligible under the SNAP rules. If you suspect that someone is misusing their benefits or committing fraud, you can report it to your state’s SNAP office or to the USDA’s Office of Inspector General.