How to Apply for Medicaid Coverage


Make sure you meet the state's income guidelines. Each state's income limit may vary slightly. These guidelines specify how much money per month a single person or family may make and still qualify for Medicaid. There are extended limits for pregnant women and children, as well as those that are disabled or over the age of 65. For example, in New York as of 2010, a family of two people may gross no more than $883 per month. A family of two with a disabled person or person over the age of 65 may gross $1,117 per month. In North Carolina, a family of two with a person over the age of 65 may gross up to $1,215 per month.


Call or visit your local social services or human services office to apply for Medicaid. If you are unable to leave the house, you may call the office and request an application by mail. Many state offices have applications that you may download from the Internet. You may also visit the office in person and fill out an application. The application will require the name, social security numbers and birth dates for all of your family members living with you. You will also need to provide income information such as wages, other benefits received such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or child support, and any current savings in the bank or other assests such as a 401k plan and its value. Applications may be mailed, dropped-off or in some cases, faxed back.


Attend an interview at your local human or social services department. Often, you will need to interview with a representative who will further assess your need and may require some additional materials. For example, you may need to bring your state-issued driver's license or ID, birth certificate or other proof of age and citizenship, proof of alien status (if applicable), recent paycheck stubs (if working), proof of residence such as a lease agreement or rent receipt, and any other insurance benefit cards that you may have. Once an interview has been conducted, the department will send you a letter approving or denying your application for medicaid.

Tips and Warnings

  • Alternatively, you may complete an application for Medicaid while you are checked into a hospital for medical reasons. Request to speak to the hospital's social worker or benefits counselor, who will assist you in completing and processing the application for Medicaid benefits. You may still be required to attend an interview and may need to supply additional materials such as a copy of your birth certificate and identification to the department of human or social services after the application is submitted.
  • Medicaid applications may be denied for many reasons, including failing to provide all necessary information to prove that you qualify for such benefits. If you are denied Medicaid benefits and feel that the denial is in error, you may appeal your case by contacting your local department of human or social services. Information about how to appeal your Medicaid decision will generally be included in your denial letter.
  • Medicaid is a state-run program for residents who can't afford to pay for the medical care they need. To get Medicaid, you must meet certain financial, age or health-related criteria. Applicants are subject to gross income limits requiring that they, or their family, not earn over a certain amount per month. These income limits vary depending on the applicant's age, whether or not the applicant is disabled, or if the applicant is pregnant. To apply for Medicaid, you will need to obtain an application from your local social or human services department in the state where you live.