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Harriet A. Woolford University Health Center

Medicaid Waiver Requests


The health of our students is very important to us and navigating the Health System while sick can be a daunting experience. We would like to share this information with you so as not to interrupt care when you need it.

If you are considering waiving the Student Health insurance due to being covered under Medicaid from a different state, please consider the following information before making your decision, and always verify your specific coverage details with your state Medicaid office before waiving the student health insurance plan provided by the University.

Q. Can I use my Medicaid coverage in any state?

A: No. Because each state has its own Medicaid eligibility requirements, you cannot transfer coverage from one state to another, nor can you use your coverage when you are temporarily visiting another state, unless you need emergency health care.

Medicaid offers health coverage to millions of Americans, and in many states, that coverage matches or even surpasses that of private health insurance. Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal government and state governments, but each state has the option to set its own rules and requirements for eligibility. As such, transferring your Medicaid coverage from one state to another isn't always possible.

You cannot be covered by Medicaid in two different states at the same time. Therefore, to transfer your coverage, you'll need to first terminate your original Medicaid coverage and then apply in your new state once you've relocated.

Transferring Medicaid Benefits to Another State

Technically, there's no formal program or option that allows you to transfer your Medicaid coverage from one state to another. Therefore, if you are relocating, even temporarily, you will need to re-apply for Medicaid in the new state.

The good news is that you are allowed to apply for Medicaid in your new state immediately after relocating, and doing so can help you avoid a lapse in benefits. It generally takes anywhere from 15 to 90 days to receive a letter of approval once you apply for Medicaid, and you can usually submit your application online.

Most states offer retroactive Medicaid coverage, which allows you to receive coverage for up to three months prior to the date of your application's approval. However, you may be forced to pay for healthcare services out of pocket until that retroactive coverage kicks in and renders you eligible for reimbursement. To this end, please make sure to retain copies of all medical receipts for services received during your coverage gap.

Eligibility Requirements

The challenge of applying for Medicaid in a new state is that each state has its own requirements for eligibility, so just because you're entitled to coverage in one state doesn't mean the same coverage is guaranteed in another state.

Medicaid eligibility hinges on several factors:

  • Income level
  • Assets/resources
  • Medical expenses (in states that have Medically Needy Medicaid programs)
  • Level of care requirements for long-term care

Traveling to Another State

If you're traveling to another state and fall ill, you may be out of luck - Medicaid won't cover the cost of services in a state that isn't your home state. Generally, you can only use your Medicaid coverage out-of-state if you encounter a truly life-threatening emergency that requires immediate care (meaning, there isn't time to transport you back to your home state for care).