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Federal Government as Insurance Provider

The Federal Government offers a variety of insurance programs through initiatives to assist certain occupational groups, those in disadvantaged circumstances and those who would not be able to access insurance otherwise. Federal insurance programs include forms of: health, life, home loan, long term care, dental, disability, retirement, property and flood insurance.

The federal government provides health insurance to millions through its health insurance programs Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal health insurance program, administered by each state, using both federal and state funds which provides medical benefits to low income people who have no or inadequate health insurance. Those eligible for Medicaid include: people receiving federally-assisted income maintenance payments, children, pregnant women, seniors, the blind and people with disabilities. Medicaid directly pays the healthcare providers. Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years or older. Those under 65 can be covered by Medicare if they are disabled or have end stage renal disease and are receiving social security or railroad retirement benefits. There are a variety of Medicare health plans and prescription drug plans offered by insurance companies approved by Medicare. Those eligible for Medicare pay a monthly premium that is not affected by their health status.

There is also a federal low-cost children’s health and dental insurance plan, state administered, to provide coverage for children whose families cannot afford health and dental insurance. To qualify, families must have an income which is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, but too high to qualify for Medicaid. The federal children’s health and dental package covers doctor visits, prescriptions, immunizations, dental and vision care, hospital visits and mental health and substance abuse services.

For those who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet state eligibility requirements, the federal government provides unemployment insurance for temporary financial assistance.

Through a variety of home loan insurance programs the federal government insures homeowners’ mortgages with approved lenders, making homeownership more achievable. The Federal Housing Association (FHA) insures mortgages or rehabilitation loans for lower income or middle class families, or for members of certain occupational groups who are willing to locate to designated areas in the US. The US Veterans Administration (VA) insures loans to veterans, reservists, and other military personnel and can provide mortgage payment relief and protection from foreclosure. For those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed in a presidentially declared disaster, a special home mortgage insurance program for disaster victims can help affected homeowners access funds from FHA-approved lenders.

Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to property owners of homes and businesses located in communities that have enacted federally mandated floodplain management strategies to reduce future flood damage.