What is Medicaid

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health coverage or nursing home coverage to certain categories of individuals, including children, pregnant women, parents of eligible children, low income adults, former foster care children, aged, blind and disabled individuals.

  • Medicaid (Title XIX of the Act) started in 1965 along with Medicare (Title XVIII of the Act) of  as a safety net program for low income families, women, children and people with disabilities as a federal and state endeavor.
  • The Children’s Health Insurance Program(CHIP) (Title XXI of the Act) started in early 2000 to ensure coverage for low income children.  States have the option to implement CHIP as a separate program, part of a Medicaid program, or both. In Hawaii,  the CHIP program is part of the Medicaid program.  

The Department of Human Services is the single State agency designated to administer the Hawaii Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

History of Medicaid in Hawai'i

Med-QUEST Division was established in 1994 to administer the State’s Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act.  Throughout the years, the Medicaid program has changed from only Fee-For-Services (FFS) to a combination of Managed Care and FFS delivery system.  On January 1, 2015, the QUEST Integration (QI) program began. The QI program is a Medicaid program that integrated QUEST, QUEST-ACE, QUEST-Net and QExA programs.  

QUEST stands for:

Quality care

Universal access

Efficient utilization

Stabilizing costs, and

Transforming the way health care is provided to QUEST members.