How do I Find a Medicaid Physician?

John Lister

While the Medicaid system helps people who find the traditional healthcare system unaffordable, it makes it much harder to find a suitable physician. There are several directories and sources of information which can help you choose a Medicaid physician in your area. You will also have to exercise much more care in making the right choice as you have fewer options for changing provider if your first choice proves unsatisfactory.

The various Medicaid programs can get confusing, as not all people will apply in the same place or to the same agency.
The various Medicaid programs can get confusing, as not all people will apply in the same place or to the same agency.

Readers outside the United States should note that this article deals with the US healthcare system. Medicaid is the US system for providing healthcare to people on low incomes who fall into defined categories of eligibility. While the principles of this article may apply to you, you should not rely on it to be entirely relevant or appropriate for the healthcare system in your country.

Quality physicians should fully answer patient's questions.
Quality physicians should fully answer patient's questions.

It's important to note that unlike the federal Medicare system, Medicaid involves both federal and state government. This means the funding, both as a raw number and per patient, may vary considerably from state to state. Because of this, there may be fewer Medicaid physicians available in your state. You may also find that eligibility for Medicaid varies from state to state.

If possible, look for a doctor who specializes in an area that's pertinent to your needs.
If possible, look for a doctor who specializes in an area that's pertinent to your needs.

The best starting point for finding a Medicaid physician is the relevant web page for your state's program. You can find this through the Govbenefits.gov website. Your state program's page may provide details of participating physicians; if not it may have contact details where you can get assistance. You may also want to try your local health department or social service agency to see if they can offer lists of Medicaid physicians.

Medicaid can help seniors cover healthcare costs.
Medicaid can help seniors cover healthcare costs.

Another option is the Medicare website. This has a directory of physicians which you can search based on your zip code, city or state. The directory also allows you to filter results to only see details of physicians who accept Medicare patients. In most cases they will also act as Medicaid physicians. However, you must take care to check carefully that this is the case before registering as a patient.

Because you have much less choice when selecting a Medicaid physician than with regular healthcare, it's particularly important to make sure your choice meets your needs. The scarcity of Medicaid physicians and the long waiting lists can make it much more hassle to change physician later on. Consider factors such as how easy it is to reach the physician's offices, which medical specialities they deal in, whether their availability fits your schedule, and whether they have a good reputation.

Make sure that you find a physician and not the other way round. While there are thousands of legitimate Medicaid physicians, there are still some scam artists trying to con people by signing them up to bogus prescription drug coverage plans. These crooks often target elderly people through door-to-door salesmen. Signing up to such a scheme could mean you pay over the odds or even find you are not actually covered when you come to be prescribed drugs by a genuine Medicaid physician.

Individuals with severe mental and developmental disabilities may qualify for supplemental security income as well as Medicaid.
Individuals with severe mental and developmental disabilities may qualify for supplemental security income as well as Medicaid.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

The availability of medicaid providers definitely varies depending on the state you live in. Some states have very few, and people covered by Medicaid often have to travel long distances to find doctors to see them.

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