Medical Assistance (Medicaid) - Aged, Blind and Disabled (MA-ABD)
Topics on this page
- What is Medical Assistance (Medicaid)?
- Income Eligibility
- Asset Eligibility
What is Medical Assistance (Medicaid)?
Medical Assistance (also called Medicaid) is a program that provides free or low-cost health insurance. Medical Assistance pays the medical bills of people who have low income and cannot afford medical care. If you qualify, Medical Assistance pays for medical care such as doctors, hospitals, prescriptions, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and more.
Read the law: Md. Code, Health General Title 15, Subtitle 1
Read the regulations: Code of Md. Regulations, Title 10, Subtitle 9
Generally, to be eligible for Medicaid in Maryland, you must:
- be a Maryland resident;
- be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who meets certain immigration status requirements;
- meet income limits; and
- meet asset limits.
To receive Medical Assistance in the “Aged, Blind and Disabled” category, (MA-ABD), you must be either:
- Age 65 or older;
- Blind; or
To qualify for benefits as disabled, you must meet all of the following:
- You have a significant physical or mental medical impairment;
- Your condition has lasted (or will last) for at least twelve months or it is expected to result in death; and
- You are unable to perform "substantial gainful activity"- that is, you cannot work.
Medical Assistance uses the same disability requirements as the Social Security Administration.
Read the regulations: Code of Md. Regulations 10.09.24*
To be eligible for MA-ABD, your income must be very low. For an individual, your monthly income must be under $350 (which is called the “medically needy income level”). You can also “spend down” to qualify for MA-ABD. For an individual, if you incur medical expenses that are greater than $350, you can use those expenses to “spend down” your income, and qualify for MA_ABD. You can also qualify for MA-ABD because you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Read the regulations: Code of Md. Regulations 10.09.24.07
MA-ABD has an asset requirement. After excluded assets (such as the home), the asset limit by household size is:
- Individual: $2,500
- 2 Individuals: $3,000
- Each additional person: Add $100
Read the regulations: Code of Md. Regulations 10.09.24.08
You can apply online, in-person, or over the phone. More information is available on the Maryland Health Connection website.
You can appeal any denial, termination, or reduction of benefits
- Appeals must be filed in writing at the DSS office. It is best to file it in person and to get a receipt showing that you filed the appeal.
- Appeals must be filed within 90 days of the action, or you cannot appeal.
- If you file within 10 days of notice that benefits are being terminated or reduced, they will continue until the decision. If you do not appeal within 10 days, the termination or reduction will happen.
Read the regulations: Code of Md. Regulations 10.01.04*