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- If your state participated in the Medicaid expansion, you are more likely to be eligible for free healthcare under the Affordable Care Act
- Your eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP depend on your household size and income level
- Even if you do not qualify for free healthcare under Medicaid, you might be eligible for premium tax credits which will lower your healthcare costs
- Most healthcare plans offer at least one type of birth control with no out of pocket costs
- Many health insurance plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act also offer some preventative services free of charge regardless of your income level
Who qualifies for free or low-cost health insurance under the Affordable Care Act?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans are free for those who qualify. This is typically only true if your state expanded their Medicaid program and your income and household size falls within the eligible parameters. Although not all people will qualify for completely free health insurance, there are several free services and cost reductions available to Americans.
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What is Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program?
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are free or inexpensive programs for low-income families, individuals, and those with disabilities or those who are pregnant in some states. Eligibility for these programs is determined by your income level and your household size. If you make 138 percent of the federal income level or less, which comes out to $16,643 for a single person or $33,948 for a four-person family, you might qualify for Medicaid.
You can apply for Medicaid and CHIP programs at any time during the year. You do not have to wait for a special enrollment period to apply for Medicaid the way you do for other marketplace plans. In some states, CHIP might cover pregnant women in addition to children.
If your state did not expand Medicaid, it is still a good idea to apply if your income falls within these parameters because you might qualify. The name and eligibility requirements can vary in different states.
There are two ways that you can apply for Medicaid and CHIP. You can fill out an application through the healthcare exchange marketplace and they will send your application to your state agency if you are eligible. A representative should then contact you about your enrollment options. You can also apply directly through your state agency.
How can I save money with premium tax credits?
If your income is too high to have free coverage under Medicaid, you can still qualify for cost-sharing reductions and tax credits which will help you save money on your health insurance premiums and other related charges. If your income is between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you should be eligible for premium tax credits on your marketplace health insurance plan.
If you make between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level in a state that expanded Medicaid, you will be eligible for this program instead of tax credits. These tax credits help cap families insurance premium costs at an amount that is between 2.03 percent and 9.66 percent of their income.
These caps are based on the cost of a silver plan on the health insurance marketplace. You can qualify for premium tax credits on any level of plan. However, you can only qualify for other cost-sharing reductions, such as help with deductibles and copayments. The lower your income is, the higher the subsidy amount will be. You can use your tax credits to pay your insurance company in advance but you are not required to.
Is birth control free under the Affordable Care Act?
Even if you do not qualify for free or low-cost coverage, the Affordable Care Act ensures that some important medical services are free for everyone. This includes birth control coverage for women. The Affordable Care Act requires most plans to cover at least one of each type of the eighteen forms of contraception without any out-of-pocket costs. Some plans are exempt from this requirement so it is important to check your insurance plan’s benefits summary.
The 18 forms of birth control coverage include birth control pills, vaginal rings, intrauterine devices, emergency contraception such as the plan B pill, and sterilization procedures. Plans do not have to cover vasectomies or drugs that cause abortions. However, some insurance plans might still cover these services even if they are not required to. In most cases, the generic brand of these medications will be covered unless a different brand is considered a medical necessity.
Are any other services free under the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act includes free preventative services in addition to free birth control options. These preventative services might include vaccines, screenings, and tests.
Who gets free healthcare under Obamacare?
Those who make less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level, or less than 138 percent in states with a Medicaid expansion, might qualify for free health insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Most insurance plans offer free preventative services and free birth control.
If you do not qualify for Medicaid because your income is too high, you might still be eligible for savings on your health insurance.
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