How do I Find Medicaid Providers?

wiseGEEK Writer

There are several ways to find Medicaid providers, both main physicians who would treat patients for average illnesses and specialists, or those in related health fields. Before looking, however, people should consider waiting until they speak to their doctor, if they have one. Some doctors are Medicaid providers but don’t accept new patients. However, if a person has a longstanding relationship with a physician and that physician is already a provider, she may make an exception and extend coverage to an existing patient. This situation occurs often when people switch from having other forms of insurance to Medicaid and is worth investigation for those who don’t want to switch doctors.

Gynecologists can often be found at state run hospitals.
Gynecologists can often be found at state run hospitals.

One method that takes a bit more time is to look in the business section of a phone book under physicians. Some doctors will have ads that say they accept Medicaid. Another way to go is to start calling doctors, but this takes time when people live in an area with a lot of physicians.

Medicaid helps families from lower income brackets receive medical care.
Medicaid helps families from lower income brackets receive medical care.

People who live near state run hospitals that have outpatient care clinics may be able to find providers at these facilities. If the physician maintains a patient practice at the hospital, as do many specialists, it can be fairly easy to find certain kinds of providers like obstetricians and gynecologists, or pediatricians. Most state run facilities including those attached to excellent state medical schools, are required to serve patients who have Medicaid.

Probably the simplest way to find Medicaid providers is online at the US website for Health and Human Services. This site allows people to search by zip code, city, and by distance to find people who are currently listed as Medicaid providers. Those looking for a doctor can narrow their search returns to various specialists, general practitioners, pediatricians, or others.

People navigating this website are asked whether they would like to search for participants or non-participants, and this distinction is worth exploring. Participants can be defined as those doctors who will accept any Medicaid patients that visit them. This doesn’t mean non-participants won’t take Medicaid. Non-participant physicians get to use their discretion to determine if they will take a patient that is only covered by Medicaid. When a person is interested in selecting a non-participant physician, they will need to contact that physician to determine if he or she will accept a Medicaid patient.

The search process on the website is simple and returns results quickly, but some people may not have access to the Internet when they need a physician. If it’s a medical emergency, people can go to most urgent care centers and most hospitals, which are obligated to provide treatment to stabilize someone. It is still in a person’s best interest to find a regular doctor, since visits to urgent care clinics and hospitals are much more expensive to the state and aren’t always necessary. When the situation isn’t urgent but a person can’t get access to the Internet, they may want to contact the local agency that administers their Medicaid program and ask if they have an available list of Medicaid providers; if no such list exists, these folks may still be able to go online and perform a search to get this information quickly.

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Discussion Comments


I've had an easy time finding a general doctor who accepts medicaid. It's finding medicaid dental providers that has been a challenge.

I would like my kids to go to a pediatric dentist, but I have found that there are very few dentists in my area that accept medicaid, and even fewer pediatric dentists. And the ones I have found, generally only accept medicaid for patients up to age six or seven. That doesn't help my eight year old. I did find one that would accept medicaid, but wasn't accepting new patients.

It's been very frustrating. I want my kids to have good dental care, and I would appreciate any suggestions to finding a good dentist who accepts medicaid.


While it does work to find lists of medicaid healthcare providers in the phone book and online, I would also ask around. People you know are usually willing to share their opinions of doctors -- good or bad.

And there's a pretty good chance that you'll encounter someone else who either has medicaid, or knows someone who does.

This way you can get more information than what is provided in an ad or internet listing. And when you are choosing something as important as a doctor, you'll probably benefit from hearing other people's opinions and stories. It will help you to make a well informed decision about who is best for you and your family, and maybe prevent some possible doctor switching, while trying to find the right one.


It's not fun to have to change doctors. But, if you find that you have to, because you're current doctor doesn't accept medicaid, it might be a good idea to ask your current doctor if they know of a good one who does accept medicaid.

When I became pregnant I got medicaid, and it turned out my doctor didn't take it. I really liked my doctor, and was pretty upset about having to find a new one, but he recommended an office nearby that accepted medicaid. I went to that office and found the best doctor I have ever had in my entire life. He is now the doctor for my whole family.

A doctor you like and trust is likely to lead you to another doctor you will like and trust.

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