Medicaid Renewals: A Guide on How to Renew or Apply

Medicaid is returning to an annual renewal process. Here's what you need to know to make sure you stay covered!
Photo a flyer on a table, advertising Medicaid renewal.
Photo a flyer on a table, advertising Medicaid renewal.

Do Medicaid renewals feel like an unfamiliar and confusing task? Prior to the pandemic, Medicaid renewals occurred annually. However, in 2020, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Medicaid recipients remained continuously enrolled to ensure they were covered.

In 2023, Alaska joined the rest of the country in returning to the regular renewal process. Going forward, this means that recipients of Medicaid will have to renew their coverage annually.

The Medicaid renewal process is automatic but contact information must be up to date for that process to happen smoothly. If you are a Medicaid recipient, ensure your phone number, mailing address, and email address are correct with the Division of Public Assistance. Also, remember to check your mail regularly and respond to requests in a timely manner to avoid any delays or loss of coverage.

Below, our team has compiled helpful information on how to ensure you can remain covered by Medicaid.

VOA Alaska is available provide some helpful information for anyone needing a refresher on how to start a new Medicaid application and/or how to go about the renewal process. Give us a call Monday- Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 AM at (907) 279-9640.

The Division of Public Assistance will attempt to automatically renew coverage based on the contact information they have in their systems. If the automatic renewal is successful, recipients will receive a notice in the mail, a new Medicaid benefits card, and information about the renewed coverage.

Some recipients have already received notifications, but the process will continue through September 2024. If you are waiting to be notified, ensure your contact information is up to date.

For recipients of Medicaid, the LAST day to restart a renewal is March 31, 2024.

You can update your contact information with the Division of Public Assistance using their online Medicaid Information Update Form. After filling out the form, select “Done”.

You may also call the Medicaid Information Update Hotline at 833-441-1870, which is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

If you choose to use the form, fill out the information requested, and select “Done” once completed.

Items to update if they changed in the last three years:

  • Mailing Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address

If the automatic renewal is successful, no further action is required on the recipient’s end. A new Medicaid benefits card will be mailed to the recipient. In the instance of an unsuccessful automatic renewal, the Division of Public Assistance may need to reach out for more information to determine your eligibility.

Pay stubs, tax returns, and other financial information may be some items that are requested. A renewal form might also be required. If so, one will be sent in the mail. Included with the form will be important instructions on when the form should be completed and returned. If it is not returned within the given timeframe, the risk of delays or losing coverage is possible.

If your coverage is close to ending or ends while your renewal is still under review, do not worry. Coverage will continue until the review is completed.

If the Division of Public Assistance decides a recipient is ineligible for coverage, a letter stating so will be sent. Also included will be instructions on how to appeal if the recipient disagrees with the denial, and instructions on applying for coverage on A special enrollment period will be available for those who have been denied Medicaid coverage.

If you are applying for Medicaid for the first time, there are several ways you can do so. Worried about not qualifying?  VOA Alaska recommends you still apply for coverage even if you believe you may be over income.

Here are options to apply for Medicaid by phone, mail, online, and fax:

  • Apply online with the Federally Facilitated Marketplace. If your household is deemed eligible for Medicaid coverage, the Marketplace will send your application to the Division of Public Assistance.
  • You can also apply on MyAlaska. The application is available under the “Services” tab, where you’ll see “Services for Individuals”. There, select “Public Assistance – Medicaid only Applications (ARIES)” (screenshot below).
  • Download and print a Medicaid paper application. Completed applications can then be mailed, faxed, or dropped off at the Division of Public Assistance’s office located at 3901 Old Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99503.
  • Pick up and submit an application at a Public Assistance Office:

University Center
3901 Old Seward Hwy, Suite 131
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: 907-269-6599
Fax: 888-269-6520

855 W. Commercial Dr.
Wasilla, AK 99654
Phone: 907-376-3903
Fax: 888-269-6520

Always retain a copy of what you submit to the Division of Public Assistance. If you faxed it, keep the fax confirmation. If you dropped off your application in person, get a date-stamped receipt.

  • Available until mid-January 2024, walk-in appointments with a United Way Certified Application Specialist for assistance on renewal and new applications.
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    • Loussac Library, 3rd floor in the Raven Room
    • 3600 Denali St, Anchorage, AK 99503
  • Contact 2-1-1 to request Health Insurance Navigation to assist with application support or to make an appointment with a specialist for in-person assistance.
  • Contact Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center at 907-743-7200 to set up an appointment with an Application Specialist who can assist in application completion and submitting to DPA directly.
  • Online application portal for new Medicaid applicants can be found here (open enrollment ends January 16, 2024).
  • FAQs about Medicaid and Denali Kid Care can be found here.

At VOA Alaska, we believe that no one should be denied care due to being uninsured or the inability to pay. A variety of options are available to meet your and/or your family’s needs, including a sliding fee scale, uninsured and cash discounts, and hardship waivers. We accept all insurance and are in network with Blue Cross. Learn more on our Paying for Services page.