When Can I Sign Up Medicaid?

Anyone with limited resources who is having trouble meeting their health care needs and costs should look into applying for Medicaid. Even people with assets can qualify under the medically needy provision. Each state calculates eligibility differently. If you have been denied in the past and have moved to a new state you may now qualify in your new state.

Previous Wealth can Hamper your Medicaid Application

Like many social programs, past wealth can severely hamper your ability to get Medicaid. If you have had substantial resources and lost them you will generally need to wait until those are removed from your financial history so that when you apply for Medicaid you won't be denied because of past resources you no longer have. This can take as long at two years if Medicaid wants to use your tax returns as proof of eligibility.

Auntie Lou says, "This is a little like the chicken and the egg dilemma. To get Medicaid you will have to use up all of your resources before you qualify - at which point you really have absolutely no other alternative."

Each State May Have Different Rules for Signing Up for Medicaid

Some states limit the times when you can sign up for Medicaid. In addition, Medicaid is administered by different divisions of Social Services and the names of the local offices may vary. For example, the office may be called Social Services or Human Services or Public Assistance. Within the local Medicaid office local personnel make decisions, so it is important to establish a good relationship with your local office. When you sign up can have a lot to do with how your file is handled. Monday and Fridays are generally busy times. Late in the day, office staff may be very tired. In all cases be polite and patient. Most Medicaid employees really are there to help. However, their jobs are very demanding. Can you imagine sitting in this office helping unhappy people day after day? Moreover, no matter how dire your circumstances are, you are not the worst case they have ever seen.