The government makes low cost health insurance more accessible if you have a limited income. In addition to affordable medical plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace, states have free or cheap medical plans if you qualify. These programs can save you hundreds to thousands every month. 

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are the two largest government health care programs, and they provide affordable medical coverage to low-income individuals, families, and children. Medicaid and CHIP eligibility requirements are different from other assistance programs, and some members of your family may qualify even if others do not.

You Could Qualify for Free or Affordable Health Care

The low income health care program, Medicaid, provides coverage for all qualified mandatory groups. The federal government established mandatory groups – or specific individuals states most cover – and local authorities can choose to expand coverage to other entities. 

You need to meet specific eligibility requirements, like being a resident of the state where you apply and being a US citizen or qualified non-citizen. 

Your children may qualify for a CHIP health care plan even if you do not qualify for Medicaid. Income limits for Medicaid may be capped at 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) in your state. However, the federal limit for CHIP is higher, ranging from 170 to 400 percent of the FPL, depending on the area.

In some places, you may qualify for a cheap health insurance policy as a pregnant woman even if other household members do not. For example, a father and adult relative in a household with an income less than 185 percent of the FPL may not qualify for Medicaid, but a pregnant woman and any children younger than 19 years of age in the home could. 

Private insurance companies provide Medicaid plans, and the government subsidizes the cost, so you pay little to no cost if you qualify. How cheap health care coverage is for you depends on your household income. The following are the maximum allowable copayments by income: 

·      100 percent FPL

o   Institutional Care – $75

o   Non-institutional care – $4

o   Non-emergency ER services – $8

o   Prescription drugs – $4 to $8

·      101 to 150 percent FPL

o   Institutional Care – 10 percent of cost

o   Non-institutional care – 10 percent of cost

o   Non-emergency ER services – $8

o   Prescription drugs – $4 to $8

·      More than 150 percent FPL

o   Institutional Care – 20 percent of cost

o   Non-institutional care – 20 percent of cost

o   Non-emergency ER services – No limit

o   Prescription drugs – $4 to 20 percent of cost

Some services, like emergency and pregnancy-related care, are exempt from fees. Certain groups are completely exempt from out-of-pocket costs, like institutionalized individuals, people receiving hospice care, women in the Breast and Cervical Treatment Program, and more. 

Children may have alternative copayments and more free services than adults. For instance, preventive services are free for children, and they have access to dental care that most Medicaid-enrolled adults do not. 

If you are a low-income senior citizen, you may qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. Medicare is another government-run health insurance plan for older Americans with greater medical costs. Find out when to sign up, so you do not miss your initial enrollment period. 

By Admin