How to Get a Temporary Medicaid Card

Medicaid is the federal program that provides certain low-income individuals and families medical coverage. Once you are approved for Medicaid, it can take around 2 to 3 weeks to receive your card in the mail. If multiple household members are approved, each card will come in a separate envelope. If you need the Medicaid card right away, you can print or request a temporary Medicaid card to show proof of your coverage.

Printing Cards Online

Certain states allow you to apply for Medicaid benefits online by creating an account through the state's department of social services or human resources website. For example, the Florida Department of Children and Families features the Automated Community Connection to Economic Self Sufficiency, or ACCESS service. Residents can check their eligibility, apply for benefits, check the status of their applications, report changes and print temporary Medicaid cards. In Colorado, Medicaid recipients can log into their Program Eligibility and Application Kit -- or PEAK -- account to print temporary cards. If you applied for Medicaid online, log into your account to see if the option to print a temporary card is available.

Calling Your Caseworker

Contact your caseworker and explain why you need a temporary Medicaid card. The caseworker can tell you all of the options available and walk you through the process of printing your own card, if that's possible in your state. You may not necessarily need the physical Medicaid card. If you're going to the doctor, he generally can verify your benefits using your Social Security number and Medicaid identification number.

Contacting the Plan Provider

In some states, Medicaid utilizes Health Maintenance Organizations or Managed Healthcare Plans, such as WellCare or United Healthcare. If you've already been assigned to a plan, contact that company directly for information on how to get a temporary card. If you can't get a card immediately, it can provide your ID number and any other information you may need from the card. When you call, you'll need to provide your full name, address and Social Security number to verify your identity.

Visiting a Local Medicaid Office

Your local Medicaid office may have the ability to generate and print temporary replacement cards on the spot. You may need to complete a form and provide photo identification. If you need help locating the office, contact your state's Department of Human Services or Department of Social Services.

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