How to Apply for Medicaid


Learning how to apply to Medicaid in the United States is beneficial to residents seeking health care insurance. Understanding how to fill out the Medicaid application form properly is one of the first steps to receiving medical assistance benefits. Applicants will also need to know where to apply for Medicaid and if they can apply for Medicaid online in their home state. Additionally, some states require applicants to send in copies of documents with their Medicaid application such as their birth certificate and W-2 forms. Many interested in the program often ask, “Where do you sign up for Medicaid?” or “What do you do if you are denied benefits?” Find out the answers to these questions and learn more about Medicaid by reading the information on this page.

Where do you sign up for Medicaid?

Most states offer several methods for applying to the U.S. Medicaid program including online, by mail, over the phone and in person. Many states allow applicants to apply online for Medicaid benefits through an online account or portal managed by the government of that particular state. This portal often allows the petitioner to check his or her Medicaid eligibility and apply for medical benefits. Sometimes, applicants can request for other types of assistance, such as the food stamps benefits, through this portal as well.

Many states offer a paper Medicaid application form option for those who cannot or prefer not to use the internet. The application for Medicaid can be printed online, sent by mail or picked up in person at a human services office. Residents can find out where to apply for Medicaid locally and request benefits in person. Some states provide a central address where applicants can mail or hand deliver the form, while others require claimants to find the human services or program office nearest them. Applicants can also sign up for Medicaid by fax in most states.

In many states, the same program manages non-Medicaid health benefits programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Also, some states may have different Medicaid application procedures for particular populations like children, the elderly or those with a disability. Applicants should ensure they are applying for the right program before turning in the application.

Information Required on the Medicaid Application Form

The Medicaid application process requires applicants to provide a lot of personal information to make sure all applications are legitimate. Most Medicaid submission forms will ask for the following details:

  • Full legal name and date of birth
  • Social Security Number and documentation number if not a U.S. citizen
  • Current address
  • Income and employer information
  • Current health insurance policy
  • Any insurance offered by employer

Generally, those who are married or have children will have to divulge the same information listed above for their spouse or children. Petitioners can apply for a family member even if uninterested in medical benefits for themselves. Parents often request Medicaid benefits for children exclusively since the requirements for enrollment are less strict for minors.

When signing up for Medicaid in some states, applicants will have to furnish necessary documentation for Medicaid application that verify identity, income and immigration status. Birth certificates, passports and other forms of identification may be used as identification. Tax returns, W-2 forms and pay stubs can be used to prove income level. Non-citizens applying for Medicaid will need to establish legal residency with green cards and naturalization certificates. Please only send copies of these documents instead of the originals. Medicaid application forms from certain states may ask for medical documentation as evidence of health status, such as pregnancy or a disability.

Note: Regardless of where you apply for Medicaid in the United States, lying on the application or giving false documents to the Medicaid program is considered benefits fraud. This is a serious criminal offense that may come with time in prison. Always give true information whenever you are applying to a government benefits program.

For comprehensive information about applying to Medicaid successfully, download our complimentary guide.

Information Not Required on Medicaid Applications

Applying for Medicaid online, in person or by using another method will involve giving a lot of information to the Medicaid officials. The Medicaid application will require details about the petitioner and his or her family. However, there are certain types of information and household members that applicants are free to omit from the form. Adults older than the 21 years of age will not need to put their parents’ or any other adult family member’s information on the Medicaid application form as long as they are filing taxes separately. Partners who are not married to the applicant and children of an unmarried partner can also be excluded from the application. Nevertheless, claimants should keep in mind that household size directly influences the Medicaid income criteria for enrollment.

In most cases, applying for Medicaid benefits will not require petitioners to sit for an enrollment interview. Although applicants may have to be interviewed if applying for medical assistance and the food stamps program at the same time.

Steps to Take After a Medicaid Application Denial

Not all who apply for Medicaid will be enrolled in the health care assistance program. After about 30 days of submitting a Medicaid application, state officials will sent a notification of applicants’ enrollment status. If the application for Medicaid benefits was denied, claimants can still take steps to enroll in Medicaid. Petitioners have the right to appeal a Medicaid denial. Filing an appeal will request that officials from the state’s Medicaid program review information and reconsider the decision. In some states, applicants will engage in a hearing to state their case for overturning the denial decision. Each state has a different procedure for filing an appeal, but residents can read the letter of denial for instructions on how to appeal.

Review our detailed guide to avoid having your Medicaid request denied by reviewing the eligibility requirements to receive health care assistance.