Have you ever checked to see if you and your family are eligible for Medicaid? It seems like a simple question, but there are many individuals and families in America who are unaware that they actually qualify for Medicaid either because their state expanded it under the Affordable Care Act or because they only make a certain amount of money each year in the states that did not.
Applying for Medicaid is not as difficult as many people may make it out to be. Each state has set their guidelines for who is eligible for the program and if you fall within those guidelines then you may qualify for coverage. Here are the three things you need to do that will help determine if you can sign up for Medicaid coverage.
1. See if your state expanded Medicaid
As it currently stands, 29 states and Washington, D.C. have expanded Medicaid while 21 states have opted not to. Six of the 21 states that did not expand Medicaid are currently debating whether they will expand the program moving forward. These states are Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, and Utah. You can check if you state expanded Medicaid by clicking HERE
2. Check income requirements
The next thing you need to do after checking whether your state expanded Medicaid is check your states income requirements to enroll in the program. The 29 states and D.C. that expanded Medicaid have set their cap at 138 percent of the federal poverty level
(FPL). Most people don't know what the federal poverty level is, let alone what 138 percent of the level is, so let me explain it in layman's terms: individuals making $16,243 and below a year would qualify for Medicaid in states that expanded Medicaid. That number rises as the number of individuals in your household. So a family of four making $33,465 and below each year would also qualify for Medicaid. Remember that this is only in the states that expanded Medicaid.
If you live in a state that didn't expand Medicaid then your income requirements are based off of the cap that was set before the ACA went into effect. This number is 106 percent of the FPL, or $11,670 for an individual and $23,850 for a family of four. You can see a full break down of income requirements for singles and families by visiting Incomes that qualify for lower costs
page or by clicking HERE
3. Apply for coverage
After visiting that site and determining that you may qualify for Medicaid then you need to apply in order to begin receiving coverage. All you need to do is go to Medicaid.gov
to get started.
It is also important for you to know that there are no cut off dates to enroll in Medicaid. While there are specific dates you are able to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, there is no such thing for Medicaid. That means that you can apply to receive coverage any time of the year.
So what are you waiting for? All you need to do is see if your state expanded Medicaid, verify the income requirements, and apply for coverage. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.