A Beginner’s Guide on How to Sign Up for Medicaid
If you are about to sign up for Medicaid, you are not alone. As of the end of 2020, a record 79 million Americans are now enrolled on Medicaid, close to 25% of the population of the United States. Whether you have fallen on hard times or are in need of long-term care and support, Medicaid is there to help you.
Medicaid can help you with prescriptions, child healthcare, dental, and just about anything else you can think of. However, knowing how to sign up for Medicaid is easier said than done. Medicaid is a means-tested program with strict eligibility requirements that must be fulfilled. However, once you know the ropes, you can quickly sign up for Medicaid online. Here’s what you need to do.
- Check with Your Providers
Before you sign up for a medical card with Medicaid, you should always check with your healthcare providers first. Medicaid is a federal program that does not reimburse healthcare providers at the same rates that private insurers do.
For this reason, many healthcare providers in the US may refuse to accept Medicaid. Unfortunately, this is perfectly legal to do. Check that your hospital and your family doctor accept Medicaid before you sign up for medical insurance of any kind.
- Check Your Local Medicaid Situation
It is also important to note that there are many different kinds of Medicaid and that you entitled and coverage through Medicaid might actually differ depending on where in the United States you actually live. For example, people in California can access a version of Medicaid called Medi-Cal.
This form of Medicaid has much less stringent income requirements and it does not require recipients to be in poverty in order to access health coverage. However, the application can be more complex, so for programs such as this you should always consult a qualified Medi-Cal planning expert before you get started.
- Check Your Eligibility
The next step is to ensure that you are definitely eligible for coverage and entitlements disbursed via Medicaid. The most important factor that will determine your eligibility is your assets and income.
You will need to undertake a non-binding means test when you apply for Medicaid and you will also need to declare your assets. You must also be an American citizen or a legal immigrant. Some states offer varying coverage dependent on how much government support you have already received for healthcare costs.
- Sign Up for Medicaid
Once you have undertaken the above steps, it is time to learn how to sign up for medical coverage via Medicaid. The easiest way to do this is to fill out a free online application at the Government Health Insurance Marketplace.
You can also complete your means test and submit any supporting documents here. This application will also inform you of any below-market insurance schemes you might qualify for. In addition, you can submit a paper application at your local state Medicaid office.
Navigate Your Health Insurance the Right Way
Now that you know how to sign up for Medicaid, it is time to learn more. At our dedicated Insurance pages, you can find expert and insider advice on how o navigate the health insurance market for the best possible outcome. Check it out today.