How do I apply for Medicaid?
Question 8 of 11 (use "Last" or "Next" buttons to see more)
Last Update: December 12, 2008
You will need to contact your local Medicaid office for exact rules on how to apply for Medicaid in your state.
Below is a general guide to the process.
- Contact your local Medicaid office to ask how you need to submit your application (your Medicaid office may sometimes be called the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services, or by another name).
Some states require you to apply in person, while others may allow you to start the application process by mail, online, by telephone, or at locations in the community, such as health centers and community organizations.
To find out general information about Medicaid in your state, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) by clicking on the link in the LINKS box.
For contact information for your local Medicaid office, click on the Medicaid Office Directory link in the LINKS box.
- Ask the Medicaid office which documents you will need to show and gather them. You will be asked to fill out a Medicaid application and may need to show the following documents:
- Proof of age, like a birth certificate
- Proof of identity and citizenship or immigration status (passport, drivers license, birth certificate, green card, employment authorization card)*
- Recent paycheck stubs (if you are working)
- Proof of your income from sources like Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans Benefits (VA) and retirement benefits
- Proof of your resources, like bank or stock statements, life insurance policies, property that you may have
- Proof of where you live, like a rent receipt or landlord statement or deed
- Insurance benefit card or the policy (if you have any other health insurance)
- Medicare Card
*Note: Medicaid coverage is available, regardless of alien status, if you are pregnant or require treatment for an emergency medical condition. A doctor must certify that you are pregnant or had an emergency, and you must meet all other eligibility requirements.
Contact your local Medicaid office to find out exactly which documents you may need.
- If you have any problems applying, always ask to speak with a supervisor.
- If you do not receive a timely decision on your Medicaid application or you are turned down for Medicaid, you can appeal by asking for a State Fair Hearing (not a city or local one). Check with your Medicaid office or State Department of Social Services to find out more about requesting a Fair Hearing.
- Recertify. Once you have Medicaid, you will need to recertify (show that you remain eligible for Medicaid), in order to continue to get Medicaid coverage. When you submit your Medicaid application, be sure to ask your Medicaid office when and how you will need to recertify.
For more information on how Medicare and Medicaid work together, click on the link in the GO TO box.