Medicaid assists low-income families and individuals with healthcare needs. States choose to participate in the program, and so do the healthcare professionals. If you need these benefits, know how and where to look for local Medicaid providers who are active in the program.
About Medicaid Providers
Providers include participating doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and managed healthcare organizations. Doctors are classified as either specialists or primary care providers. Each provider chooses one or more Medicaid plans to participate in, which vary by state.
Some Medicaid providers choose to sign up for a state or federal program that helps children, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There are additional programs for low-income pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. The Health and Human Services Commission has a complete list of plans on their website.
How to Search Online for Providers
Go to the website hosted by your state’s Medicaid agency to search for a provider. The form is shorter than the actual Medicaid application and requires you to type in a half page of information. On a legitimate website, give few personal details and type in more information about your preferred provider.
First, choose the health plan, which is listed on your health insurance card. Then, type in the name of a doctor, hospital or group. Last, type in your zip code or county name to find the nearest provider.
Be specific to find the right Medicaid providers. Choose either a primary care provider for generalized treatment or a specialist for specific illnesses or injuries. Other types of providers include participating dentists, optometrists and psychiatrists. Then, choose the place of care that you prefer:
- Urgent care center
- Home healthcare facility
Depending on the website, there are additional search options for the type of provider. Search for doctors who are taking in new patients or have stopped taking patients. Also, find professionals who speak certain languages, provide telemonitoring or work during certain hours. This selective information helps you to narrow down a large list of local doctors.
How to Search Elsewhere for Providers
In addition to the Internet, searching for Medicaid providers is done over the phone or in person. Many low-income households do not have computers or Internet access. Your local helpline has information about federal assistance for cash, food and healthcare. The most traditional option is to visit a nearby Medicaid agency and request a list of local providers.
The Internet is the fastest and most comprehensive source of information about Medicaid. Most medical providers run websites and choose to communicate online nowadays. Compared to phones and offices, online sources have the most up-to-date lists of individuals and companies who accept Medicaid patients.
How to Start the Search
For most people, searching for Medicaid providers is much simpler than filling out the application. Not every doctor or hospital participates in Medicaid, so it’s necessary to do this research.
Websites make it easy to look using certain criteria: location, type of provider and place of care. The alternative options are to look for providers over the phone or at a local Medicaid office.