Health Insurance for Low-Income Adults
If you are under 30, you can get health coverage a few different ways; some designed specifically for you. Here are some different ways to get a health insurance plan.
Getting or Staying on a Parent’s Health Insurance Plan.
- Under 26? You may be able to get on a parent’s health insurance plan
- Purchasing your insurance plan
- Depending on your state, you may be eligible for savings based on your income. You can pick a “Catastrophic” health plan to protect yourself mainly from worst-case situations.
- One catch: If somebody claims you are tax-dependent, you can purchase a plan through the Marketplace but won’t qualify for savings based on your income.
Student Health Insurance Plans
- If you are in school, you may be able to enroll in a student health insurance plan — and meet the requirement for having coverage under the health care law.
Medicaid and CHIP
- If your income is low or you have certain life situations, you could be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid.
- If your state has expanded Medicaid coverage, you can qualify depending on your income alone — in many states that have expanded, that’s around $17,236 or less for a single individual, about $23,335 or less for couples without children.
- In all states, you can be eligible based on factors including income, some family situations such as pregnancy and having young children, and disability.
- If you have children, they might be eligible for coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — even if you do not qualify for Medicaid.
After you fill out an application with the Health Insurance Marketplace and offer household and income information, you will find out if you are eligible for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly health insurance bill.
You will also find out if, in addition, your income qualifies you for additional savings known as “cost-sharing reductions.” If it does, you can save money a second way: by paying less out of pocket every time you get medical services.
Qualifying for Cost-Sharing Reductions
- If it does fall in the range, the amount you will save on out-of-pocket costs depends on your specific income estimation. The lower your income within the range, the more you will save.
- You will find out exactly how much you will save only after applying and shopping for Silver plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
How Cost-Sharing Reductions Work
If you are eligible for savings on out-of-pocket costs and enroll in a Silver plan:
- You will have a lower deductible. This means the insurance plan begins to pay its share of your medical costs sooner. For instance, if a particular Silver plan has a $750 deductible, you have to pay the first $750 of medical care yourself before theinsurance carrier pays anything (other than for free preventive services). But if you are eligible for cost-sharing reductions, your deductible for a Silver plan could be $300 or $500, depending on your income.
- You will have lower copayments or coinsurance. These are the payments you make every time you get care — like $30 for a physician visit. If a Silver plan’s copay is $30 for a doctor’s visit, if you enroll in the plan and qualify for additional savings, you may pay $20 or $15 instead.
- You will have a lower “out-of-pocket maximum.”This means the total amount you’d have to pay in a year if you utilized a lot of care like if you got very sick or had an accident, would be lower. Instead of $5,000, your out-of-pocket maximum for a particular Silver plan could be $3,000.
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