Medicaid is health insurance that helps people pay some or all of their medical bills. Call 1-855-805-HEALTH (4325) to apply.
Medicaid may be free for
Medicaid may have a copay or monthly cost for
Call 1-855-805-HEALTH (4325) to find out which program you qualify for.
If your income is too high to qualify for free Medicaid, you may be able to get Medicaid after you spend down some of your money if you are disabled, on Medicare, over 65, or meet other criteria. You will get a notice from DSS that tells you the amount you must spend down, when your spend-down period starts and ends, and where to send the proof about your spend-down. Spend-down periods are 6 months long.
Remember! Keep copies of everything you give DSS. Keep all notices and envelopes that DSS sends you.
One way to meet your spend-down amount is to have medical bills.
Example 1: Bob applied for Medicaid on January 1. Bob’s 6-month spend-down period is January 1 to June 30. Bob’s spend-down amount is $600.
On January 1st, Bob starts his 6-month spend-down period with no Medicaid coverage. On March 15, his medical bills total $600. Bob is covered by Medicaid for any NEW medical bills from March 15 to June 30.
On July 1, Bob has a new 6-month spend-down period and amount.
Bob applies for Medicaid
Spend-down period (6 months)
Covered for NEW bills
January 1 – June 30
Between January 1 and March 15, Bob's medical bills add up to $600. ->
He has met the spend-down amount by March 15 (within the 6-month spend down period). ->
March 15 – June 30
-> Next 6-month spend down period begins on July 1.
Note: You don’t have to pay the medical bills. You can use unpaid bills to meet your spend-down.
Note: As soon as you have medical bills in the amount of your spend-down, you can get Medicaid.
Example 2: Luz’s 6-month spend-down period is March 1 – August 31. Luz’s spend-down amount is $500.
On August 20, she has $500 in medical bills. If these bills are unpaid, she can give them to DSS at the start of her next period, September 1.
Luz will be covered by Medicaid for all medical bills during her spend-down period September 1 –February 28.
Luz's 6-month spend-down period
New spend-down period (6 mos.)
March 1 – August 31
September 1 – February 28
Between March 1 and August 20, her medical bills add up to $500. ->
If her $500 in medical bills are unpaid, she can give these to DSS at the start of her next spend-down period (September 1).
-> 6-month spend-down period beginning September 1
Luz will be covered by Medicaid for all medical bills during this spend-down period September 1 through February 28.
Note: You can use UNPAID medical bills from a previous period to meet your spend-down amount in the current period.
Note: Sometimes it takes almost the whole 6 months to meet your spend-down. Plan ahead to get longer coverage.
Bills you can use toward your spend-down
Other programs that pay some or all of your medical bills
MED-Connect lets you work and keep your Medicaid, often without a spend-down. You’re eligible if you
Breast and Cervical Cancer Program covers all medical needs (not just cancer treatment) during the time you need cancer treatment.
Home Care Program for Elders pays for home health aides, skilled nursing, emergency response alert, Meals on Wheels, adult day care, and other services.
Personal Care Assistance Program pays for assistants to help with your daily living activities.
Acquired Brain Injury Program offers home and community-based services to help you live at home instead of in a nursing home.