Medicaid is a way for low-income individuals and families to have health insurance in order to get the care they need for their health issues. If you have limited funds and meet other requirements that are applicable, you can apply for Medicaid enrollment and, if accepted, receive Medicaid benefits.
Medicaid is operated by State government with funding through the Federal government. Certain guidelines must be met in order for Medicaid programs to function properly. The guidelines may differ slightly between various states but basically are the same throughout the country. Medicaid may be called by different names in various regions of the country, but it is still the same system.
For Medicaid enrollment to take place, you must fill out an application that will need to be evaluated in order to ascertain if you are eligible for benefits. There is documentation that you will also be required to produce that will be considered along with your application. Your local Department of Human Services or Social Security office will have the proper forms that you will need to complete. This may be done in person, by mail or over the phone by speaking to a representative and relaying the pertinent information that is required.
Not all individuals or families with a low income will be able to obtain Medicaid, as other requirements also need to be met. The factors that are considered include age, disabilities, U.S. citizenship and pregnancy. Medicaid enrollment will also involve the need for certain documents to be submitted in order for an evaluation to be made for eligibility. The documents that are required may include the following:
- Driver’s License or other form of identification.
- Social Security card.
- Pay stubs showing your income, if you are working.
- Bank statements and documentation on any other financial assets that you may have, including stocks, bonds, IRAs, CDs and other financial investments.
- Insurance policies that are in force, including the face value of each policy as well as the cash value.
- Documentation on any other health insurance coverage that you may have, including Medicare.
- Birth Certificate.
- Any outstanding medical bills.
When a completed application and proper documentation have been received by the Medicaid office, an evaluation is done to ascertain if you are eligible for Medicaid enrollment. You will be notified, usually within 45 days, as to your eligibility. If you are denied benefits due to your income being above a certain level, you may want to reapply for Medicaid should your income ever decrease, as this will change your status. And if you have a disabled child living with you, regardless of whether you are eligible for Medicaid, your child may be accepted as his or her status is judged separately.
Important Facts Concerning Medicaid
- If you are eligible to receive Medicaid benefits, your coverage may start three months before the date of your application, provided that you would have been eligible for Medicaid during that three-month time frame. This means that any medical bills you have had for that three-month period will be paid through the Medicaid program.
- Medicaid benefits can be stopped if your income and/or financial assets should increase once you start receiving benefits, as that increase would change your status. You would no longer meet the Medicaid requirements pertaining to an income that is below a certain amount.
- If you are on Medicare, you may also be eligible for Medicaid. Or if you are already receiving Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, you may also be eligible to receive Medicaid. With SSI, this may be an automatic process in some states. And if you have serious medical problems but do not meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid due to income or financial assets, you may still receive Medicaid because of medical necessity.
Through the Medicaid program, there is assistance that is available to those who are in need and do not have the means to pay for their medical bills. If you have medical expense, have a low income and meet other Medicaid enrollment requirements, you may be eligible to receive assistance that will allow you to take care of health issues.