Medicaid for the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2020 Mar;145(3):637e-646e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000006560.


Medicaid is a complex federally and state funded health insurance program in the United States that insures an estimated 76 million individuals, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population. Many physicians may not receive formal training or education to help understand the complexities of Medicaid. Plastic surgeons, residents, and advanced practice practitioners benefit from a basic understanding of Medicaid, eligibility requirements, reimbursement methods, and upcoming healthcare trends. Medicaid is implemented by states with certain federal guidelines. Eligibility varies from state to state (in many states it's linked to the federal poverty level), and is based on financial and nonfinancial criteria. The passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 permitted states to increase the federal poverty level eligibility cutoff to expand coverage for low-income adults. The aim of this review is to provide a brief history of Medicaid, explain the basics of eligibility and changes invoked by the Affordable Care Act, and describe how federal insurance programs relate to plastic surgery, both at academic institutions and in community practice environments.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Eligibility Determination / economics
  • Eligibility Determination / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Insurance Coverage / economics
  • Insurance Coverage / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Medicaid / economics
  • Medicaid / history
  • Medicaid / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / economics*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Poverty / economics
  • Poverty / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Surgeons / economics*
  • United States