What is the process for transferring Medicaid benefits from one state to another?

A fellow caregiver asked...

How does an elderly parent transfer medical benefits (Medicaid) from Illinois to Georgia?

Expert Answer

Unfortunately, there is no simple way to "transfer" Medicaid benefits from one state to another. That's because even though the federal government establishes basic guidelines for Medicaid, each state runs its own Medicaid program with slightly different rules for eligibility and coverage. So, your parent will have to file a new application with the Georgia Medicaid program for coverage there. You can help your parent begin this process by filling out an application for Georgia Medicaid online as soon as your parent physically moves into the state. Eligibility will be determined within 45 days of filing the application, but if your parent is granted Medicaid eligibility, coverage will be backdated to the date the application is filed.