1. File your papers
It is better to apply online. It is faster, you don’t have to go to an office and wait in line, and you will have a tracking number for your application. This number is proof that you applied, in case you need to check on the status of your application.
There are many professionals who can help you apply for Medicaid at your medical center, hospital, or a local community organization.
Medicaid coverage can be given for past medical bills, up to 3 full months before the date that you apply, as long as you are eligible during that time. This is called medical backdating of eligibility. You should check off on the application that you have unpaid medical bills from the 3-month period before your application so that you are considered for backdating as long as you met Illinois residency requirements during that time.
2. Contact DHS if you don't hear back
You can contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) to get an update on your application while you wait. You can call the DHS Customer Help Line at (800) 843-6154. Or, you can visit your local DHS office.
3. Renew your Medicaid every year
Medicaid eligibility is re-determined every year. This means that you will receive a letter each year asking whether your information is still correct or if your circumstances such as your income have changed. You should watch for this letter in the mail and respond if you are required to do so to make sure your Medicaid coverage continues.
It is very important to keep your address up to date with DHS so that you receive your mail. You can update your information online, by mail, by phone or with the USPS.