Medicaid provides benefits to millions of Americans. When someone with limited income and resources needs help, Medicaid may be the right place to turn. However, figuring out how to apply for Medicaid can be difficult.
Find the Right Medicaid Program
Although the federal government funds Medicaid, each state manages its own Medicaid agency. For example, Medicaid for Alabama residents is offered through Alabama Medicaid.
However, Medicaid is not just one program. Instead, benefits are provided to people in the following categories:
- Parents and Caretaker Relatives,
- Pregnant Women,
- Elderly and Disabled,
- Nursing Home Residents,
- Breast and Cervical Cancer Patients,
- People in need of family planning through the Plan First Family Planning Program,
- People who need help paying for Medicare costs.
Once you know which category fits your situation best, it’s time to find the right application and instructions.
Qualifying for Medicaid
Just being a certain age or having a certain medical condition does not mean you are automatically qualified to receive Medicaid. People seeking Medicaid benefits must meet certain requirements first:
- Citizenship – must be an Alabama resident and be living in the United States legally.
- Income – rules vary from program to program, but an applicant’s income must fall within their state’s limit.
- Resources – the same is true for resources: the value of an applicant’s countable resources must be below their state’s limit.
- Medical Condition – programs also have different medical criteria that must be met.
For example, Jane applied for Medicaid for the Elderly and Disabled while living in Alabama so she meets the citizenship requirements for Alabama Medicaid. The income limit for the nursing home program is $2,250 per month or $1,145 for a married couple. Jane is single and makes $2,500 per month. At first glance, she appears to be ineligible for Medicaid. However, a lawyer with Medicaid experience might be able to help her find a way, perhaps by setting up a Miller trust to handle her excess income. As for resources, not all of her property will count toward the resource limit. Still, she seems to be under Medicaid’s monthly $2,000 limit. Since Jane is 83 years old and homebound as ordered by her doctor, she probably meets the medical requirements.
The Medicaid Application Process
Alabama Medicaid’s website contains forms needed to apply for the various Medicaid programs. You may apply online, by mail, or in person. However, send your application to one of Medicaid’s 11 district offices if you are applying for help with your Medicare premium, for nursing home or elderly or disabled benefits.
In addition to the application, you may also submit attachments like Form 204/205, which is used for applications to Elderly & Disabled programs.
Supporting documents may include proof of citizenship and identity, proof of income, information about countable resources, pension statements, benefit award letters, deeds, financial account statements and more. The process can get really complicated really quickly.
You May Need Help When You Apply for Medicaid
The application process for Medicaid is a difficult path for most people to navigate. The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law. help many of their clients every step of the way.
For a free consultation with an experienced Alabama attorney, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham and serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.