In today's world, it is crucial to have healthcare insurance. So, it can be concerning if your application status is still “Medicaid Pending.” Medicaid Pending status means that your application or your parent’s application has not yet been approved or denied. Essentially, your application is in limbo. Here is why this status is important:
- Some elderly patients who suffer from chronic illnesses may see their medical bills pile up while they wait for a final decision from Medicaid.
- Senior patients needing long-term care, like admittance into a nursing home, must pay for nursing home services out of pocket until their Medicaid application is approved.
To avoid mounting medical bills, it is vital that you keep an eye on a senior patient’s application. There are some long-term care facilities that accept Medicaid pending patients. However, the patient or their family may pay a share of the cost of the services in the interim.
A Medicaid application usually takes between 45 and 90 days to process. According to the state where you live, a Medicaid application may take longer or shorter than this estimate. In addition, the time it takes for you to gather the required documents may delay your application.
Applicants and families should keep in mind that most states require proof of the following documents in order to file for Medicaid:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of income
- Proof of identity (i.e., driver’s license, state ID card, green card, or passport)
- Proof of income (i.e., check stubs, tax returns, SSI, or retirement benefit statement)
If your application is denied, patients and families can file an appeal or begin the application again depending on the reason for the denial. If your application is denied because one of the above documents was not included in the original application, you must restart the application from scratch. In cases where you were denied coverage for a substantive issue, you have a right to appeal.
The Appeal Process
The Medicaid appeal process follows these steps:
- Medicaid will send you a denial letter. In the denial letter, Medicaid must explain the reason for the denial. The letter will also state the deadline for filing an appeal.
- The patient must initiate the appeal. To begin your appeal, you must send a notice of appeal to the Medicaid office. You might get contacted by the office, and a Medicaid representative may negotiate a settlement with you to avoid an appeal hearing.
- The final step is an appeal hearing. This appeal is heard in an administrative law court and decided by an administrative law judge. You can present witnesses and evidence at the hearing to persuade the administrative judge to rule in your favor.
- If you want an attorney to represent you but cannot afford it, you can reach out to a legal aid office in your area.
Information about Medicaid is available online at medicaid.gov. Visit this website If you want to learn more about the process of applying for coverage or eligibility. For additional guidance, contact a qualified elder law attorney in your area, as the rules can vary from state to state.