Medicaid Guidelines When Moving Out of State

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Since Medicaid is funded by both the federal and state governments, you cannot simply transfer benefits from one state to another when you move. Each state sets its own criteria and guidelines for eligibility, so you need to reapply in your new state of residence. Even though the federal government establishes basic guidelines for Medicaid, states differ in the benefits and coverage they provide.

Accessing Information

Once you know for certain you will be moving to another state, get information about that state's Medicaid program so you can reapply. The government's official Medicaid website allows you to access the current regulations and guidelines for each state. You can also find out if you are eligible for Medicaid by filling out an application in the Health Insurance Marketplace. States qualify you based on your income and family size.

Initiating the Application Process

You cannot begin the application process to reapply for Medicaid in your new state until you close out your benefits in the state where you lived and received benefits before. A caseworker can help you by contacting the state where you previously resided to verify that your benefits ended. You can then reapply to receive benefits at your current location, although your new state's income and asset limits for eligibility may not be the same.

Processing Your Application

Contact your new state's Medical Assistance Office to find out where to apply for Medicaid benefits in the local area where you will be living. Most states also give you the option of applying online. Once you file an application form and provide documentation verifying your income and assets, your application will be processed to determine your eligibility. The date on which you requalify for Medicaid usually is the date on which you applied as long as you meet all of that state's eligibility requirements.

Getting Coverage for Back Bills

Although most states provide retroactive coverage from the time you apply, you may have to pay for medical services out of pocket until your new application is processed and approved. The Medicaid program in your former state may pay medical bills you incurred in your new state before you officially moved if you were still eligible for Medicaid in that state at the time you received services. If not, your current state of residence may pay the bills provided you had already started the process of applying for Medicaid there.

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