The Basics

What is Medicaid? This government-sponsored program helps millions of Americans cover their healthcare costs. Many qualify–including families, children, pregnant women, childless adults, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Do you qualify? Your eligibility is determined by a few factors, including the number of people in your household, income, age, disability, etc. Unlike other forms of health care coverage, you can enroll any time of the year. There is no designated enrollment period. You can check to see if you or a family member are eligible here.

How long does the application process take? provides helpful information on the application process. It explains that when you provide all of the required information it usually takes 45 days to process your application. If you’re approved, your eligibility will be reviewed each year.

What is CHIP and how do you enroll your child? CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. As explains, it is designed to provide health care coverage to children up to age 19. If you are a family of four with an income of $48,500 or less, your children can most likely get coverage.

What is the Medicaid Expansion? As part of the Affordable Care Act, state governments were provided additional federal funding for their Medicaid programs, allowing states that accepted the expansion to cover adults under 65 up to 133% of the federal poverty level. If your state took the expansion, learn your options.

My state didn’t extend Medicaid. What does that mean for me? If your state didn’t take the expansion, your health coverage options will depend on your income. recommends that you first apply to see if you qualify for federal or state assistance. If you aren’t eligible, you may be able to buy a plan in the Marketplace and receive tax credits to help you pay for your coverage.

What should you do if your service or treatment is denied? As explains, all beneficiaries have the right to appeal denials. The article explains what steps should be taken in the event of a denial. For example, first, “write a simple appeal notice” and “submit it in person to your local state Medicaid agency office.”

Can you receive coverage if you aren’t a U.S. citizen? The short answer is maybe. For those who aren’t U.S. citizens or have loved ones who aren’t U.S. citizens who are seeking coverage, the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia provides helpful information on who can receive coverage without citizenship. For example, if you are a lawfully-residing child, pregnant woman, and or “qualified immigrant,” you may be eligible.

Can you receive coverage if you’re homeless? Yes. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council released “Medicaid Enrollment: Your Guide for Engaging People Experiencing Homelessness,” which explains how the expansion will help more homeless people get medical coverage.

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