Friday, April 29, 2016

Medicaid in Washington State: Application Tips

Fifteen years ago Medicaid applications were a snap. You picked up a paper application at a DSHS office.  Or at an assisted living community or nursing home. You filled it out based on your aging parent's information, submitted it to the same office with documentation, and waited....

Not so today. My friend Gary is applying on behalf of his mother for COPES, the assisted living version of Medicaid.  It's similar to the nursing home Medicaid program but provided in a lesser care setting. Gary went on line, googling a number of phrases that might work:  applying for Medicaid in Washington State, Medicaid application, on-line Medicaid application, etc.

No dice. Gary called me.  After a few minutes of frustration, googling in vain, I suggested that he go to the DSHS office to get one.  "I'll have to take a couple of hours of work to do that," he said.  True.  We both agreed there had to be a better solution.

Ta da!  Two online documents, "Questions and Answers on Medicaid for Nursing Home Residents" and "Questions and Answers on the COPES Program," both published by Columbia Legal Services, have the Medicaid application process on their front page. 

Apply online for both programs at   The page is general, not specific to Medicaid.  Complete the profile, answering the questions as if you were your parent.

Or obtain a paper application online for both programs at Washington Apple Health Application for Long-Term Care/Aged,Blind, Disabled Coverage.  I'm not sure why long-term care coverage is named Apple Health.  But it is.

And you can still obtain a paper application at a DSHS office.

Good luck!

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