Medicaid is a state-run program that provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families. Eligibility requirements vary from state to state, as do the application procedures. You will have to apply for Medicaid in the state where you live. You can find your local Medicaid office by checking with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Make sure you are prepared and that you follow up with your application. One missed step might pull you off track.
The first step is to find out how you can apply. It will vary from state to state. Some states allow you apply over the phone or online. There are typically locations you can apply in person throughout the community. Contact your local Medicaid office to find out how and where you can apply and what will expedite it the most effectively.
The next step is to understand your rights. If you receive SSI benefits (Supplemental Security Income) from the Social Security Administration, you will most likely qualify for Medicaid. There are limits within this program put into place on a federal level, so there’s a lot to understand when applying for Medicaid.
Contact your local Department of Social Services or Human Services. Be aware that your state may have a different name for this type of agency. You need to get into contact with the same agency which provides food stamps and financial assistance. If you’re having trouble tracking down the correct name, call your county office and it should be able to point you in the right direction.
If you live in a state where you can’t fill out the Medicaid form online or over the phone, you’ll need to go into your local office and request a form. Fill it out and return it to the appropriate person right away. You can complete it in the office, but may not be able to get an appointment right away. Make sure you bring your proper identification and other necessary items when you do go to an appointment. Refer to the “Things You’ll Need” section above.
When at the meeting, be prepared to answer questions about your financial situation. Eligibility will be based on your income level. If you have trouble filling out a form, ask office personnel for help. If you would like to apply, but can’t leave the home, find out if someone can meet you at your home to go through the application process.
Be truthful in the information you provide. Chances are if you misrepresent yourself, they'll find out and it will open a can of worms you may not be prepared to deal with.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Eligibility.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. “Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Seniors and People with Disabilities: Findings from a 50-State Survey.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- American Council on Aging. “Medicaid’s Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA): Calculations & Limits.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Healthcare.gov. “Federal Poverty Level (FPL).” Accessed May 28, 2020
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “January 4, 2001 - Dear State Health Official,” Page 1. Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “State Option to Enroll Tuberculosis (TB) Infected Individuals into the Medicaid Program,” Page 1. Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Healthcare.gov. “Coverage for lawfully present immigrants.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. “Services Available To Victims of Human Trafficking,” Page 12. Accessed May 28, 2020.
- American Council on Aging. “Understand Medicaid’s Look-Back Period; Penalties, Exceptions & State Variances.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- American Council on Aging. “How to Spend Down Income and / or Assets to Become Medicaid Eligible.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- American Council on Aging. “How Qualified Income Trusts (Miller Trusts) Help Medicaid Applicants Become Eligible for Long-Term Care.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “CMS announces new policy guidance for states to test community engagement for able-bodied adults.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Contact Us.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- New York State Department of Health. “Documents Needed When You Apply for Health Insurance.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Trump Greenlights Major Medicaid Changes.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “States’ Experiences Confirming Harmful Effects of Medicaid Work Requirements.” Accessed May 28, 2020.
- Be truthful in the information you provide. Chances are if you misrepresent yourself, they'll find out and it will open a can of worms you may not be prepared to deal with.
Based in the Midwest, Beth Lytle has been writing professionally since 2008. Working as an editor and with recent work published on eHow, LiveStrong and the Bayer Aspirin website, Lytle is a self-made freelancer. Lytle writes health-related and home-improvement articles, first beginning her writing journey while attending writing workshops and classes during childhood. Lytle has owned transcription and commercial construction companies since 2006.