Both insurance premiums and healthcare costs have significantly increased in this country and have lead some to forego insurance. For those with low income, insurance can feel more like a luxury than a necessity.
Fortunately, there are options available for people who are struggling financially. Medicaid is a federal-state program that offers medical benefits to those with financial limitations. You may also qualify for a subsidy, or tax credit, to lower the cost of your health insurance. This type of assistance can be extremely helpful. However, the requirements and application process is often overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind before enrolling in low-income health insurance.
Proof Of Employment
Because these options are income-based, you will be asked to provide proof of employment or other sources of income. This includes check stubs, W2’s, and self-employment ledgers. It is important to have the most recent copies of these documents handy in order to complete the application process. Other acceptable sources of income include social security benefits, child support payments, and investments. There are often time limits for submitting this information. If you don’t respond in time, your entire application can be denied. This means the sooner you send it, the better.
In order to qualify for low-income health insurance, you must present information on everyone within the household, including minors and dependent seniors. Family dynamics and responsibilities are not as black and white as we once believed. If you have custody disputes or uncommon dependents, it would be wise to clear up these matters as soon as possible. There could be a financial penalty or other consequences for providing inaccurate information. These applications will also ask about criminal backgrounds. You should be completely honest, so you are not perceived as trying to hide anything.
Federal And State Poverty Levels
It would also be helpful to become familiar with the current federal poverty level, as well as the levels in your state. These levels explain how your income measures up to the established standards. It is one of the factors used to determine eligibility for these programs. Understanding this information will give you an idea of whether or not you qualify for low-income health insurance. However, do not let this knowledge alone discourage you from applying. There are different types of coverage available for different situations. For example, you may not qualify, but your children, on the other hand, could receive medical benefits.
Open Enrollment or Special Enrollment Periods
There are specific enrollment periods for subsidized health insurance plans through the federal or state marketplace. An enrollment period is simply a time when people are allowed to enter into a healthcare plan. You may have heard this term in reference to a group, or employer, coverage as well. You must know when this period starts and how long it lasts because applications are rarely accepted once open enrollment has closed. After this time passes, your only possible option is a special enrollment period or SEP. These are exceptions to the rule due to unexpected changes in a person’s circumstances. Some examples are moving to a plan area, significant changes in income, getting married, and having a child.
Proof of Disability
Low-income health insurance options, such as Medicaid, are more attainable for those who disabled. This is partially due to the fact that their earning potential is influenced. While this is important information, you must be prepared to show proof of your disability. If you are receiving social security disability benefits, it will be easy enough for these programs to confirm your eligibility status. Those who have not reached this point, however, will need documentation to support their disability. Gather this evidence from your doctors, former employers, caregivers, and anyone else who can attest to your current condition.
Understand Other Insurance Options
Even those with other forms of insurance can use assistance with their medical care. Medicare and VA benefits cover particular aspects of a person’s healthcare, but these are only limited benefits. For this reason, it is entirely possible for a person to qualify for more than one type of healthcare assistance. If you were a member of our country’s armed forces or qualify for Medicare, you have earned certain benefits. Unfortunately, these medical benefits are not enough to stand on their own. Low-income households have the right to apply for additional coverage, as long as they are honest about their other forms of coverage.
Medicaid assists people who take up health Insurance for those who earn more than the minimum earning amount to obtain a tax credit or to subsidize the costs. However, one needs to apply in order to qualify for this service. Health Insurance for those who earn more than the minimum earning amount should be a walk in the park. However, a majority of them still view it as a luxury especially if they are they are struggling to make ends meet.
Affordable Care Act
Under the Affordable Care Act, it is considered illegal to lack minimum necessary medical coverage. If your household falls under the low-income, then you can apply for another form of additional coverage. Notwithstanding, you must ensure that you’re honest about this added cover. Your employer may also provide you with a health insurance cover. Here are some other points that people who are seeking health insurance for those who earn more than the minimum earning amount:
Identify the alternatives of the health insurance covers:
Prior to looking into other health insurance covers, check if you’re eligible for Medicaid in your state. You can check for this in their particular state office or their website. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid or if the coverage is less than what you require to look into the different health insurance covers in your area. You can also check if you can acquire health coverage for the children from the other parent. Despite the fact that you might be divorced or even separated, he or she might have insurance for health coverage under their employer. The children can be part of this coverage.
Check for Insurance for the Disabled
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an Insurance company other than Medicaid that helps the disabled. Moreover, the disabled people who approved to receive the SSDI also receive Medicare as a benefit. Unfortunately, if you receive SSDI you don’t qualify to obtain Medicare until two years elapse after your entitlement date. Therefore, Medicare is another insurance company other than Medicaid that helps the disabled. Furthermore, if you have qualified to acquire the benefits from SSDI and Medicare places you on a waiting period for 24 months, you can still apply for Medicaid coverage.
Where To Apply For SSDI
This can be done by logging in or creating an account in the Medicaid online page. Clearly, state that you’re disabled and your application will be forwarded to the Medicaid agency in your state. Alternatively, you can do the application directly in the Medicaid page of your state. However, the health care law pardons the disabled and they are not penalized even if they don’t have any insurance coverage. Another insurance company other than Medicaid that helps the disabled is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Furthermore, if you qualify for the Supplemental Security Income, you are also eligible to receive Medicaid.
The Marketplace is an insurance company other than Medicaid that helps the disabled. Medicaid may decide to turn down your application even if you’re disabled. Therefore, you can decide to go to the Marketplace and enroll for private health coverage with lower costs.
Check for Health Insurance for children
Prior to purchasing low-income health insurance, you may check if the children you have qualified for the CHIP or the program for Children’s Health Insurance. This program offers health insurance to families and children that belong to the bracket that earn more and as a result, they are not eligible for Medicaid. Furthermore, in a number of states, this health insurance for children coverage also extends to pregnant women. Generally, the health insurance for children coverage under CHIP has different eligibility rules in various states. However, in a majority of states, it covers children who are up to 19 years of age. Furthermore, the family income for four people should be around $49,200 annually. There are two ways that you can apply for this coverage these include calling a particular number provided by the program and accessing the Health Insurance Marketplace and filling an application that is available there.
Benefits For Being Insured By Chip
Although each state provides specific benefits under CHIP, various areas may have more of them. However, the following are some of the benefits of the health insurance for children covered under CHIP:
Hospital care for outpatient and inpatient
X-rays and laboratory services
Visits to the doctor
Vision and Dental care
The health insurance for children under CHIP may require you to pay a premium every month. In addition, some benefits may include co-payments. These charges vary in various states.
Know your Limits
Determine how much you need to spend on healthcare and find out which health insurance is within your limits. There’s no need for spending more than you can afford. However, the government specifies in the Affordable Care Act that every health insurance coverage plan should cover vital health aspects. Therefore, you need to keep this in mind while purchasing an insurance plan.
Created by health and insurance professionals, Gov Health Option provides a one-stop source for healthcare from insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and options for children. Let Gov Health Option help you understand your health care options.