Once you have been approved for Medicaid you may find out that your benefits will be provided through a managed care organization, an MCO. Very basically, an MCO is an insurance company that is responsible for your medical and health needs. Most states have gone to the MCO model for their medicaid programs. If you are wondering "How do I join a medicaid MCO?", in some states you are assigned an MCO, you have to do nothing to join the medicaid MCO in this case.
How do I join a medicaid MCO if the state does not assign me one?
In that states that do not assign an MCO, you will have the option of choosing which you want to join. In your initial packet from medicaid you will find a list of the ones that are available. Read the booklet carefully to find out how to join the medicaid MCO of your choice. There may be different rules to follow, there may be a simple enrollment card to fill out and mail back to medicaid, or you may need to talk with the doctor's office first.
How do I join a medicaid MCO that I will be happy with?
If you are happy with your current doctor, you will want to join the medicaid MCO he uses. Remember to make sure that all your doctors are in the same MCO. You may want to talk with the MCO coordinator to find out if you can change your providers or the entire MCO if you are not satisfied. Although you should be conscientious when choosing to join a medicaid MCO, it is no harder than deciding which doctor to go to. The main difference will be letting medicaid know who you have chosen, and that is just putting the name on a paper and returning it in a timely fashion. If you do not return your choice to medicaid in the time allotted they will choose one for you.