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The basics: Apply for Medicaid in your state

If your loved one needs to enter a nursing home or receive care in their own home, you may want to see if they qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid can help provide you with low-cost or free care, which is helpful in offsetting the expenses related to long-term care in the elderly or low-income individuals.

Medicaid is available to a number of people including low-income individuals, the elderly, children, families, people with disabilities and pregnant women. Medicaid is easy to apply for thanks to the design of the Health Insurance Marketplace.

How do you apply for Medicaid?

When you fill out an application for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace on the healthcare.gov website, the answers you give will let the agency know if you or someone in your household qualifies for Medicaid. If so, then the information is sent to the state agency near you. The state agency then reaches out to you.

You will also find out if you can obtain an individual health insurance plan at a reduced cost, or for free, based on the answers you input into the Health Insurance Marketplace application.

If you do not want to apply for Medicaid through this method, you also have the option of appearing in person at the local Medicaid agency. In Georgia, you will contact the Division of Family and Children Services to apply for Medicaid. Applications are available in English and Spanish.

What do you need when you apply for Medicaid?

One of the main things you will need is proof of income. This is simple for children and the elderly, who may have no job at all. You do need to present proof of veteran's benefits, retirement accounts, Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income and any other sources of income that may exist.

You'll also need to provide:

  • Proof of age
  • Proof of assets
  • Proof of disability, if you have one
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of other insurance coverage
  • Proof of citizenship

How long does the Medicaid application process take?

The Medicaid application can take up to 90 days for disability applications and around 45 for other applications. If the application is not approved, you do retain the right to appeal. The best way to avoid this is by making sure your application has all of the above-requested information and is not missing any documentation about your health or income.

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