You may qualify for free or low-cost health coverage.
You or members of your family may qualify for Medicaid through Maryland Health Connection and receive free or low-cost health care. Enrollment in Medicaid and the Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP) is year-round.
If anyone in your family is eligible for Medicaid, coverage will be effective back to the first day of the month in which you applied.
Look up your income and household size to see if you may qualify. Income limits are higher for children and pregnant women. There is no income limit for individuals enrolled in foster care in the state of Maryland as of their 18th birthday.
Eligibility is determined in real time in most cases. Income and other required information are verified using data from state and federal data sources. No paper verification is necessary when the information is already available.
Note: Different income standards apply to individuals seeking coverage on the basis of being aged, blind, disabled, or medically needy, and those applying for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB) or the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB). These individuals cannot apply for benefits using https://www.MarylandHealthConnection.gov. Please contact your local department of social services for more information or apply online at myDHRbenefits.dhr.state.md.us.
Have the following information ready when you reapply through MarylandHealthConnection.gov or in-person. You can also download this checklist (PDF):
- Household monthly income (including pay stubs, W-2 forms or tax returns if you have them)
- Social Security Numbers or document numbers for each household member reapplying
- Date of birth for each household member reapplying for coverage
- Immigration information, if applicable
You will receive a red and white card in the mail within 14 days. Do not throw away this card.
If your application is complete and verified, you will receive an enrollment packet in the mail to choose a managed care organization (MCO) to provide your care.
You can enroll any of these ways:
- Online at https://mdhealthchoice.org, using a four-digit PIN in your enrollment packet. (Please note, this enrollment option is only for new recipients.)
- Call HealthChoice at 1-800-977-7388 (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Mail the completed MCO enrollment form included in your mailed packet. An envelope is provided (no stamp needed).
Check with your doctor to see which MCOs they accept, or use the search tool at https://providersearch.crisphealth.org/ to find doctors who accept your MCO.
The MCOs that you can choose are:
- AMERIGROUP Community Care
- Kaiser Permanente
- Jai Medical Systems
- Maryland Physicians Care
- MedStar Family Choice
- Priority Partners
- Riverside Health of Maryland
You can use this guide to compare MCOs. If you do not choose an MCO, the state will choose one for you.
When you make a doctor’s appointment, let them know you are enrolled in Medicaid or MCHP, or give them the name of your MCO.
Your MCO covers these services and more:
- Visits to the doctor, including regular check-ups
- Pregnancy care
- Family planning and birth control
- Prescription drugs
- Hospital services
- Emergency services
- Primary mental health services through your doctor
Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP) gives full health benefits for children up to age 19.
Benefits for children include these and more:
- Doctor visits (well and sick care)
- Hospital care
- Lab work and tests
- Dental care and vision care
- Immunizations (shots)
- Prescription medicines
- Transportation to medical appointments
When you make a doctor's appointment, let them know you are enrolled in Medicaid or MCHP, or give them the name of your MCO.
When can people enroll in Medicaid?
Individuals can apply for Medicaid at any time. Medicaid is not subject to an open enrollment period.
If everything on the application matches information in the federal and state data sources, will the application be determined in real time? What if the data doesn’t match what’s reported?
If required verifications are available from federal and state databases and there are no major discrepancies between that and what is reported, a real-time determination can be made. If there is a major discrepancy, you will be asked to provide additional documentation.
How can the public get details on the benefits available in Medicaid?
Please visit the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Medical Assistance Programs website.
Is retroactive Medicaid coverage available?
You may be able to get help with medical bills that you incurred up to 3 months before you applied. Applicants who are in need of retroactive coverage and did not select this option during online enrollment should contact their local health department or department of social services.
How is dental care covered?
Dental care is free for children enrolled in Medicaid. More info is available at Member.MDHealthySmiles.com.
For adults 21 and older, limited dental coverage is offered at the discretion of each Managed Care Organization (MCO). Adults in Rare and Expensive Case Management (REM) and pregnant women will continue to receive dental coverage.
View the MCO chart to see adult dental services included. You can also buy a standalone dental plan.
How do newly eligible Medicaid recipients choose an MCO?
Newly eligible Medicaid recipients receive a packet in the mail to choose an MCO if they apply and have verified their information through Maryland Health Connection. If they have not selected an MCO within twenty-eight days of receiving a packet, they will be auto-assigned to one.
Will Medicaid applicants receive a packet of information from their MCO following enrollment?
Yes. Recipients will receive a packet of information after choosing their MCO or being auto-assigned to one.
Will there be an opportunity every year to enroll or change Medicaid MCOs?
Medicaid enrollment is year-round. Medicaid recipients have an annual right to change MCOs if they so choose.
Individuals may also have the right to change MCOs in select circumstances.
How will Medicaid recipients be auto-assigned an MCO?
If the recipient was in an MCO within the last 120 days, then they will go back into the previous MCO if there are slots available; if not, they will be randomly assigned. If the recipient is new to Medicaid or it has been more than 120 days since they were enrolled in an MCO, the recipient will be randomly assigned to an MCO. If the recipient is a newborn, the child will be assigned to their mother’s MCO.
My child qualifies for Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP). What is MCHP?
MCHP provides access to health insurance coverage for higher income uninsured children up to age 19, under 200% FPL through the Maryland Managed Care Program, HealthChoice. MCHP does not require the payment of a premium.
My child qualifies for Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP) Premium. What is MCHP Premium?
MCHP Premium is low-cost health insurance coverage for higher-income children up to age 19 between 200% FPL and 300% FPL. MCHP Premium provides access to health insurance coverage for eligible uninsured children through the Maryland Managed Care Program, HealthChoice, for a modest monthly premium.
The premium amount charged for MCHP Premium is assessed per family, not per child. The 2015 premium amounts are:
- Premium for families between 200-250% FPL: $53 per month
- Premium for families between 250-300% FPL: $66 per month
- American Indians do not have to pay a monthly premium to enroll in MCHP Premium.
My child is enrolled in MCHP Premium. I have questions about submitting my monthly payment. Who should I contact?
Individuals with questions about payments for coverage through MCHP Premium should contact the MCHP Premium Case Management Unit at 410-767-6883 (toll-free: 1-866-269-5576).
If I qualify for Medicaid, are there other programs I may qualify for?
If you are pregnant, have just had a baby, or have an infant or child up to age 5, you may be eligible for the Maryland Women's Infant and Children (WIC) Program where you can get nutritious foods and other free health services for you and your young children. Click here for more information.
What coverage is available to undocumented individuals?
Undocumented individuals are not eligible for Medicaid and can continue to use safety net programs. For example, If you are pregnant, have just had a baby, or have an infant or child up to age 5, you may be eligible for the Maryland Women's Infant and Children (WIC) Program where you can get nutritious foods and other free health services for you and your young children. Click here for more information.
Can I still get health services through Medicaid if I'm not lawfully present in the United States or haven't lived in the U.S. for five years? (This is sometimes called “Emergency Medicaid.”)
Individuals who are not legally in the United States and most applicants who have not met the five year bar are not eligible for full Medicaid benefits. However, these individuals may be eligible for Medicaid coverage of emergency medical services, including labor and delivery services.
In order to qualify for emergency medical services, the applicant must meet all other Medicaid eligibility criteria, including income limits. Individuals should contact their local Department of Social Services for additional information on qualifying for emergency medical assistance.
You will reapply for Medicaid coverage once a year. When you get a letter saying you need to reapply (or if you think it’s time for you to do so), use our renewals guide to learn how to apply, what information to have ready, and ways to get help.