Basics -- What we do
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a medical assistance program that helps many people who can't afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. Medicaid is administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) and pays medical bills with State and Federal tax money.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is an insurance program that pays medical bills for people who are over 65 years old or who have disabilities. It is available to people who receive Social Security benefits regardless of how much money they have. It is operated by the Federal government and is paid for with money from the Social Security Trust Fund, which most people pay into while they work. Retired people and those with disabilities pay a monthly insurance premium for Medicare Part B. This is usually taken out of their Social Security check before they receive the check. You can find out more about Medicare at their website www.medicare.gov or contact them at 866-552-4464. You may also contact GeorgiaCares at 1-800-669-8387 for assistance with Medicare questions.
Can I have both Medicaid and Medicare at the same time?
It depends. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration, you are automatically eligible for Medicaid and often receive Medicare as well. If you receive both Medicaid and Medicare, Medicaid will pay your Medicare premium, co-payments and deductibles. If you have both Medicare and Medicaid, you should show both cards to your medical care provider each time you receive services.
Process - How it works
What do I need to do?
Apply for Medicaid. Anyone who applies for Medicaid can do so in person (by going to the local DFCS, health department or Social Security office), online at www.compass.ga.gov, or by requesting forms to be mailed to you that you can fill out at home.
To apply for Medicaid, contact DFCS in your county. The DFCS office will take your application or help you find other places to apply, such as schools, hospitals or community centers near your home.
If you think you are pregnant, contact your county health department, primary health care center or hospital. Call the Division of Public Health at 404-657-2700 to find out where to apply in your county.
You may not need all of the following items, but the application process will move along more quickly if you have these kinds of documents:
- Copy of your birth certificate or other proof of identity and citizenship
- ID cards issued by federal, state or local government agencies
- Social security number
- Paycheck stubs or W-2 forms covering at least the last four weeks
- Letters or forms that show your income from Social Security, SSI and all sources of income
- Current health insurance policies, health insurance cards, etc.
- Life insurance policies
- Recent bank statements
- Information about property you own
How long does it take?
You will find out whether or not you are eligible for Medicaid within 45-60 days after you apply.
Any Special Circumstances?
If you are pregnant and eligible, you can get a Medicaid certification form on the same day that you apply. You can get prenatal care for yourself and your baby immediately. Contact your county health department, primary health care center or hospital.
If you are aged (65 years old or older), blind or have a disability, apply for the SSI program by contacting your local Social Security office. If you are approved for supplemental income, you will automatically receive Medicaid. You may also apply for Medicaid at the DFCS office, but you will not be able to apply for supplemental income there. To find the closest Social Security office call 800-772-1213 or go to www.ssa.gov.