Medicaid is a state and federally funded program that provides medical insurance to low-income individuals, including senior citizens and single parents, free of charge. Without this assistance, many people would have to go without medical coverage for services such as emergency care, prescription drug assistance, vision and dental. As with all Government funded programs, there are strict qualification and income requirements, but the benefits make it worth the effort, if you are in genuine need. Each state has different rules and guidelines for participation in the program.
How to Apply for Medicaid in Texas
Dial 2-1-1 on your home or cell phone to find out what State and Federal benefits you are eligible for. 2-1-1 is a free nationwide feature that gives information on specific services offered in your local area, such as child care assistance, Medicaid and food stamps.
Call or visit a local office to pick up and complete an integrated application for benefits or to get more information. You may find a list of Texas offices in the Resources section.
Gather all your supporting documentation for everyone in your immediate household who will use the benefits. This documentation will be needed when you complete the application and when you meet with your counselor during the face-to-face interview. Documents you may need are: birth certificates, social security cards, drivers' licenses, utility bills, child support orders, W-2 forms, pay stubs or proof of unemployment, social security or disability benefits, as applicable.
Make sure to provide a reliable, working telephone number so that you may be contacted for further information or to schedule appointments.
Create a folder for all your Medicaid paperwork and supporting documents. Always make copies of anything you turn in to the Medicaid Office and keep for your file.
Show up at your interview well groomed and dressed neatly. You don't have to wear a three-piece suit or stiletto heels, but showing that you care about your appearance goes a long way and creates a positive first impression. It gives the benefits counselor the idea that you are someone who, despite your current obstacles, will overcome and do what's necessary to get back on track.
Get into the habit of writing down names of people you speak to concerning your benefits. Record dates, times and details of each conversation for future reference.
Make an effort to speak intelligently when you talk to your caseworker. You don't have to be a genius or use perfect grammar, but at least try to put forth the effort to show that you are trying to educate and improve yourself. Don't go in there using Ebonics or slang in order to make a point or appear cool and "unconcerned".
Don't lie to the benefits counselor(s) or exaggerate about your situation in order to qualify for services. This is a serious criminal offense that warrants stiff fines and jail time if you are caught.
- relaxed doctor image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com