If you've ever attempted to apply for Medicaid online, then you know that the process can feel somewhat complicated and overwhelming. Part of the reason for that confusion is that even though Medicaid is partly a federal program, the application and approval process is managed by individual states. The following short guide will help you understand Medicaid better and it will simplify the process of applying for Medicaid benefits online.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a federally subsidized state program that helps to cover the cost of medical care for people who have a low income, as well as children, the elderly, and the disabled. Many people confuse Medicaid with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because the two programs are packaged into a single application form in many states, however, they are two separate assistance programs with two different sets of requirements. In some states, there are two different application forms.
Applying for Medicaid
In most states, you can usually apply for Medicaid online if you know where to look. However, even if you know where to apply, you'll still need a fair amount of information about yourself in order to fill out the online forms.
Before You Apply for Medicaid Online
Having all of the information below on hand before you start the application process will streamline everything and make the application take much less time to fill out.
- A birth certificate or some other official document that verifies your date of birth.
- A document that proves that you are a U.S. citizen, such as a passport. If you are an alien, you may still apply for Medicaid if you are pregnant or suffering from a health emergency.
- Evidence of income from any other sources like Social Security, retirement benefits, or any other earnings.
- Most applicants will also need to offer information about financial accounts such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies.
- Proof of residence such as rent payment, mortgage statement, or a dated utility bill reflecting your name and the address where you reside.
- Proof of any other insurance benefits that you may have.
Check Your State
One more thing to verify before you apply for benefits is what the requirements are for your particular state. Thirty-two states automatically include the Medicaid application as part of the SSI. This means that when you apply for SSI online at your State website, you're automatically applying for Medicaid as well. The following states require a separate application for Medicaid and SSI, but they still use the same rules.
In other states, not only do you have to fill out different applications but you also have to qualify through the state-created requirements that may be different than federal SSI requirements. These states include the following.
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
The Online Medicaid Application
There isn't a single federal application for Medicaid like there is for Social Security benefits, so to apply in a state that requires a different application will require finding the online form for your state's application process. In states that use the SSI application for Medicaid benefits, all you have to do is fill out the SSI application at the Social Security Administration. However, if you live in any of the States listed below, you'll need to also fill out the additional online form. You'll find the link to the correct state Medicaid form below.
Getting the Aid You Need
Applying for Medicaid benefits is something people have to go through when they don't earn enough to pay for their own health insurance. Acknowledging that you don't make enough and going through the process of applying for aid isn't always easy. By organizing all of the paperwork you'll need ahead of time and making sure to apply using the correct forms, you can receive the financial help that you need to keep yourself and your family healthy, even when times are financially difficult.