I. Emergency Medicaid

Download a pdf version of our Emergency Medicaid Fact Sheet here.                                                        

What is Emergency Medicaid?

Medicaid is a government program that provides health insurance to millions of low-income individuals and families. Unfortunately, immigrants without legal status cannot receive insurance through Medicaid. But, these immigrants can receive Medicaid for limited periods of time due to an emergency. This is called “Emergency Medicaid.”

How do I know if I can get Emergency Medicaid?

To qualify for Emergency Medicaid, you must meet Medicaid’s income and other eligibility criteria. For example, you must be low-income and be a resident of the state where you are applying for Emergency Medicaid. To qualify for Emergency Medicaid, you must also suffer from an “emergency medical condition.”

What is an Emergency Medical Condition?

It is up to your doctor to determine if your illness or injury is an emergency medical condition. In general, an emergency medical condition is a condition that could place your health in serious danger without immediate medical attention. Not all serious medical conditions are emergency medical conditions under the law. Here are some examples of conditions that might qualify as emergency medical conditions:

  • Asthma Attack
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Head injury
  • Seizures
  • Severe infections
  • Heart, liver or kidney failure

Certain procedures, such as organ transplants, cannot be covered under the Emergency Medicaid program – no matter how much you need them.

Your Emergency Medicaid coverage lasts only for as long as you are experiencing an emergency. Once your medical condition has been stabilized, your coverage will end. Emergency Medicaid will not cover your long-term care needs.

How do I apply for Emergency Medicaid?

The process of applying for Emergency Medicaid varies by state. Staff from hospitals and social service offices, which process Medicaid applications, should be able to assist you with the application. You can also seek assistance with your application from some legal services organizations and community based groups.

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