How to Apply for Medicaid

Many people apply for Medicaid to get assistance with their health care costs. Before you dial the Medicaid phone number, it is helpful to know what Medicaid covers and who typically qualifies for the program.

Medicaid covers a wide range of health care, including primary and preventative care. It also covers long-term care in nursing facilities and home health care.When it comes to figuring out how to apply for Medicaid, the process may seem confusing because Medicaid is a joint program between the federal and state governments.

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You typically apply through your state, and your state may cover additional services, such as mental health services, dental care and vision care. You can learn about dental care here.

Finding your state’s Medicaid contact number can connect you with your local office for more information. Each state has its own Medicaid application form, but in general, the applications tend to be extensive and ask for information about your income and any other benefits you have.

You will need to provide verification of your income, and if you are applying due to a disability, you will need to provide verification of that as well.

In general, it takes at least 45 days to process your Medicaid application. Your eligibility will typically start on the date you applied, though, so if you need assistance, it is best to apply sooner rather than later.

Learn About the Requirements to Apply for Medicaid

Whether you are considering how to apply for Medicaid in Florida or in another state, it is essential to have a sense of whether you are eligible when you apply.

Every state needs to follow the minimum guidelines for eligibility, which are based on the federal poverty level. State Medicaid programs typically cover:

  • Pregnant women with incomes that meet the federal poverty level of that state.
  • Seniors with qualifying incomes and dual eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Children up to 18 years of age. Different age groups of children have different qualifying household incomes. The first group covers children up to five years of age, while the second group covers children up to 18 years of age.
  • Individuals with disabilities who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and have qualifying incomes.

When you consider how to apply for Medicaid Indiana and in other states, keep in mind that many states offer expanded coverage, which means that you may qualify even if your income is higher than 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

Some states have expanded coverage to low-income adults. If you are not sure of whether you qualify, it is often best to apply. Likewise, you may qualify for certain additional coverages like dental or vision care through Medicaid depending on your age. You can learn more about vision care here.

Where to Apply for Medicaid

You can apply for Medicaid in a few different ways. Keep in mind that you will need to include documentation of your income and assets, regardless of how you choose to apply.

Application methods may vary by state, but typically include:

  • Online. You can visit the Health Insurance Marketplace website and complete a Medicaid application. If it looks like you or a family member might qualify, the Marketplace will forward your application to your state’s Medicaid agency.
  • In person. Your state’s Medicaid program should have a local office you can visit. They can walk you through how to apply for Medicaid and what documents you need to provide.
  • By mail. Many states offer a mail-in application. You can often get the application online or by visiting or calling your state’s Medicaid phone number.
  • By phone. You may be able to start an application by phone. You may still need to visit a location to sign forms or provide documentation.

If you need assistance to complete your Medicaid application form, contact your state’s Medicaid contact number. They may be able to help you by phone or help you make arrangements to visit a local office.

How to Fill Out the Medicaid Application Form

The Medicaid application form can be a bit intimidating. They can be long, and each state has slightly different requirements. To fill out an application for Medicaid:

  1. Obtain an application. You can often complete one online or request one from your local office.
  2. Fill in your personal information. This includes information such as your name, date of birth and Social Security number. You will also need to disclose your citizenship status and whether you have children.
  3. Fill in your financial information. This includes your employment status and information and your income.
  4. Fill in the information for other household members. You will need to provide information about everyone living in your household when you apply for Medicaid.
  5. Complete any supplemental applications. There may be forms to complete if you are a member of a federally recognized tribe, for example.

If you are directed by the application to include documentation, make copies and include that as well. You may also be asked to provide more information after your application is received.

Make sure to provide any information requested promptly to get your coverage started as quickly as possible.

How to Apply for Medicaid in Other States

Medicaid is different from state to state. For example, how to apply for Medicaid in Florida varies from how to apply in California.

Some states may have online or mail applications, while others may prefer you to fill out your application in person.

Each state also sets its own requirements for qualifying for Medicaid. If you were denied Medicaid in one state and you moved, you should consider applying in your new state, as the requirements might be different.

Each state may also have different names for Medicaid. In California, Medicaid is referred to as Medi-Cal. This can make it a bit confusing, but if you need help, call your state’s Medicaid or Medicare health insurance office and they can help you apply in the right place. You can learn about Medicare health insurance here.

If you apply for Medicaid but do not hear back within six to eight weeks, follow up with the Medicaid office to ensure your application was received.

You may still be eligible from the date you applied. To be on the safe side, you may want to make copies of any applications or documentation you submit.