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Medicaid: How To Apply For

What To Take With You When Applying For Medicaid

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Although each state has its own Medicaid application procedure, they all require information about you, your financial situation and your medical condition in order to determine whether you are eligible for Medicaid.

Following are items that are typically needed when applying directly for Medicaid. It's advisable to take the time to assemble all that you will need. It will save you time in the long run.

Proof of Identity

  • Birth certificate.
    • Preferably an original or certified copy.
    • If you were not born in this country, the state may accept other early documentation such as a baptismal certificate, entry in family bible, school records or other documents from your childhood.
  • Proof of citizenship or legal status if not born in the U.S.
  • Military discharge papers, if there are any.

Proof of Residency

  • If you rent the premises you live in:
    • Documents that show the amount of your rent. This can be a lease, a rental agreement, rent receipts, notices of rent increases, or similar documents.
    • Documents that show your address to prove that you are a resident of the state and county and are using the right office. In addition to the above documents, you may also use: utility bills with both your name and the residence address, official documents from other government agencies such as Social Security or the Department of Motor Vehicles that show your address.
  • If you're a homeowner:
    • Proof of ownership, such as deed or trust documents, as well as the location of the home. In addition to proof of ownership, it may be helpful to take utility bills with both your name and the residence address or official documents from other government agencies such as Social Security ore the Department of Motor Vehicles that show your address.
    • Documents such as a loan agreement, receipts, canceled checks, or other documents that show your housing costs. Medicaid uses this to crosscheck the reasonableness of the other information you give. For example, if you report your income is $500 but you pay $750 for your mortgage, there are going to be questions about how you're able to do that.

Proof of Income

Medicaid needs to know what you're living on. Take with you:

  • Paycheck stubs. Include stubs for the past three months in case you are applying for retrospective payment of past bills.
  • Copies of checks you receive from Social Security or take the Social Security award letter which shows you are entitled to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
  • Award letters or check copies from the Veterans Administration or other pensions and disability programs that pay you income.
  • Any document that shows other income you receive. Information about your current and past resources.

Documentation of What You Own

  • Auto registration and loan or lease agreement for all autos and other vehicles you own or lease.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • Deeds or other documentation of other property you may own besides the home in which you live.
  • Proof of ownership of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs or other similar assets.
  • Monthly statements of bank accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, and other liquid cash type funds. NOTE: Medicaid will require such statements for at least the last three months, and sometimes as much as six months.
  • If you transferred any substantial assets within the last five years, be prepared to discuss the transfers and to show documentation if the transfer was made for a reason other than becoming eligible for Medicaid. There may be costs and delays if you need to contact financial institutions and order copies of any missing records. (The reason for the request relates to the penalty Medicaid imposes if you need custodial care and transffered assets within the last 5 years to qualify).

Medical Bills if you want to backdate Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid rules permit backdating coverage for up to three months prior to your applying. If you want Medicaid to pay for medical bills incurred before you apply, pull together a copy of each bill you want covered.

Make sure you take documentation to show that your income and resources were limited enough to make you financially eligible during those months.

Proof of Medical Condition if you are applying for Medicaid based on disability

Proof of a disability can come solely from your medical records. However, to speed the medical review process, also consider obtaining medical statements, and third party testimony. Also take a copy of your logs indicating the impact of your health condition on your work and activities of daily living. •

  • Medical Records. Although Medicaid doesn't request or require it initially, you can substantially speed up the process if you obtain copies of all your medical records from your various doctors and other health care providers and take them with you to the interview.
    • This would include all medical records from any professional whose record would support your claim of disability including primary care physicians, specialists, a psychiatrist or psychologist, even chiropractors and podiatrists if their records relate to your claim.
    • Review the record to make sure every symptom, infection, pain and complaint is thoroughly documented.
  • It will also speed the medical review process if you take:
    • A detailed disability statement from your doctor(s), listing all of your symptoms and stating how the symptoms keep you from working. NOTE: This is generally required if you intend to apply for Presumptive Medicaid.
    • Your daily log. A copy of your Symptoms Diary and/or Work Journal which show the changes in your health and how it impacts your ability to do your job.
    • Third party testimony. Letters and written statements from friends, co-workers, family, or any one who knows about your condition and has observed its effects on your day-to-day functioning can be very helpful. See sample letters below. One of the most helpful letters could come from your supervisor or employer who has observed, and perhaps even written up, the decline in your performance at work. For samples, see the next two sections. Also see: Social Security

NOTE: Submit photocopies - not originals.

It is best to submit photocopies of documents - not originals. (If you make a copy of each document, you can take both the original and copy with you. The representative can see that the copy is a duplicate of the original. You can then keep the original while handing over the copy).

If you don't have access to a copier, take the original and ask the representative to make copies and give you back the originals.

Ask for proof that shows what documents you gave to Medicaid and when. Proof may be as easy as a simple date stamp.

See the next section below: How To Prepare For The Interview

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