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How to enroll in a Medicaid plan

Posted: August 16, 2023

Last updated date: August 17, 2023

When it comes to enrolling in a Medicaid plan, there are 2 main steps. First, you’ll need to submit an application to the Medicaid agency in your state. Once your application has been approved, the second step is to pick the Medicaid health plan you want. States typically offer 2, 3 or even more Medicaid health plans to choose from. Sometimes a state may automatically enroll people in a Medicaid plan. But if that happens, you may be able to switch. (See more about auto-enrollment below.)

To view UnitedHealthcare Medicaid plan(s) available where you live, search by your ZIP code. On the "Plan Details" page, you’ll also find a link to the website for your state Medicaid agency.

What information do you need to apply for Medicaid?

Each state requires different information to complete a Medicaid application. You should be ready to provide information like:

Personal information

  • Information about household members (name, date of birth and Social Security number)
  • Proof of citizenship

Financial information

  • Rent or mortgage information
  • Expenses (utilities, daycare, etc.)
  • Vehicle information
  • Bank statements
  • Income (pay stubs)

Medical information

  • Proof of disability or medical records showing a lasting medical condition
  • Recent medical bills

You can enroll in Medicaid at any time during the year

When can you enroll in Medicaid?

You can enroll in Medicaid at any time during the year. That’s also true for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you’ve had life change, like getting married or moving to a different state, you could qualify for Medicaid and should apply right away. Pregnant women should apply as soon as they find out. Medicaid pregnancy coverage is available to help keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Your newborn will automatically be enrolled in Medicaid, too.

When can you change your Medicaid plan?

After you first enroll as a new Medicaid member, you’ll typically have 90 days to change your plan. If you don’t choose a health plan, your state will assign you to a plan. After that, Medicaid members can only switch their health plan once per year. Your Medicaid agency will let you know when you can change your coverage.

What is auto-enrollment in Medicaid?

Auto-enrollment (also called auto-assignment) is when a state automatically assigns a group of people to a specific Medicaid plan. This can happen if a health insurance company stops offering a Medicaid plan in a certain area. Or when a new health plan becomes available. If someone is auto-assigned to a plan and they decide that they’d prefer a different Medicaid plan, they’ll have 90 days to switch.

Do you have to re-enroll in Medicaid every year?

Medicaid and CHIP members need to renew their coverage every year. It’s how states check that their enrollees still meet the requirements to get Medicaid benefits. This process is also known as Medicaid recertification. Some people call it re-enrolling in Medicaid as well.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for Medicaid renewal was temporarily stopped. But, as of April 1, 2023, states began doing yearly eligibility reviews for Medicaid and CHIP once again.

We’ll guide you through each step

Use your ZIP code to find a UnitedHealthcare Medicaid plan in your area. On the "Plan Details" page, you’ll see the full list of benefits, plus other value-added benefits* you can only get from UnitedHealthcare. Once you’ve found the plan you want, click the “Steps to Enroll” button. That will take you to a page with specific instructions and contact information to apply for Medicaid coverage in your state.

*Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations, exclusions and/or network restrictions may apply. OTC benefits have expiration timeframes. Call your plan or review your Evidence of Coverage (EOC) for more information.

What type of plan am I eligible for?

Answer a few quick questions to see what type of plan may be a good fit for you.

Find Medicaid plans in your area

Medicaid or dual-eligible plan benefits can change depending on where you live. Search using your ZIP code to find the right plan to meet your health care needs.