There isn’t a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer to this question. However, if timed right and done correctly, it is possible for your dad to continue to have Medicaid without a lapse in coverage.
To be very clear, your dad cannot have Medicaid in more than one state nor can his Medicaid coverage be transferred from one state to another. This is because Medicaid is a federal and state program, and each state has its own rules and eligibility requirements within federally set parameters. Therefore, even though your dad meets the Medicaid eligibility requirements (financial and functional) in the state in which he currently resides, he many not meet them in the new state. As a result, it is imperative that you know the eligibility requirements in the state in which your dad currently resides and the state in which he might move. For state specific eligibility requirements, click here.
In addition to varying eligibility requirements, not all states offer the same Medicaid programs and benefits. While all states do have state Medicaid plans, many states also offer Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid Waivers, which are state specific. For example, say your father is receiving assisted living services in his current state via a HCBS Medicaid Waiver. There may not be a program that offers assisted living services in the new state, or if there is, there may be a waitlist. Again, it is vital to do your research.
If you decide to relocate your dad, he will have to cancel his Medicaid coverage in his current state of residence and apply in the new state once he has moved. (Learn more about this process here). However, Medicaid has a retroactive period in which they cover unpaid Medicaid expenses dating back 3 months (in most cases) prior to one’s Medicaid application. What this means is if your dad has any expenses during the retroactive period that would have been Medicaid covered, Medicaid will pay the bills once he is accepted into the new program.