Here is what to do if you can’t afford a health insurance
Health insurance is extremely important. It helps to ensure prompt and proper emergency medical services and also proves beneficial to undergo otherwise expensive healthcare treatments in an affordable way. Health insurance has become mandatory for employees of large corporations and small enterprises. There are several federal-subsidized health insurance packages for US citizens and one can even buy health insurance cover from private insurance companies.
Medicaid is a federal-funded health insurance program that offers coverage for eligible low-income individuals and families. The criteria for Medicaid qualification differ from state to state. Despite coming from a low-income household, there are several reasons why an individual may still not qualify for Medicaid. Some of the reasons a person may not qualify for Medicaid benefits are:
- Having a higher income
- Failing to report changes in family status, such as getting married, or divorced
- Termination of pregnancy
- Receiving significant inheritance
- Moving to a state with different eligible income limits
If you’ve had your Medicaid benefits revoked due to any of the above-given reasons, then don’t feel down because you still have several viable options to get affordable health insurance coverage.
3 Alternatives to Medicaid and other insurance programs
Here are some of the best alternate choices for health insurance for those who do not qualify for Medicaid and other subsidized health insurance policies.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Subsidized Plans
If you do not qualify for Medicaid anymore, then a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) becomes available to you. Under the SEP, you can get full-fledged health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (for Obamacare) plan.
The SEP offers a 2-month (60 days) window within which you can enroll in a health insurance plan without having to wait for the Open Enrollment Period. Once this window closes, you will not be able to enroll in healthcare insurance until the next enrollment period is announced. If you are aware of when your Medicaid cover is likely to end, you need to sign up for ACA in advance.
Affordable Care Act Discounts for Low and Moderate Income
Everyone knows health insurance is expensive, especially the monthly premiums that need to be paid. However, there are ways you can reduce the premiums to more affordable rates. You may be eligible for a subsidy for ACA coverage, depending on your income level. Under this, eligible individuals get 0 to 100 percent off on their monthly insurance premiums.
However, there are situations where you may not qualify for Medicaid and also be ineligible for this subsidy because of higher income levels. There are 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid as depicted under the Affordable Care Act, which has left tens of thousands of residents vulnerable without health insurance, just because they fall in the small gap between Medicaid and ACA subsidies.
Even if you do not qualify for Medicaid, you should find out if you might receive a discount on health insurance premiums from the federal government, irrespective of the price tag on their health insurance policy premiums.
Short-term Health Coverage post-Medicaid
Unexpectedly losing health insurance coverage can prove to be a difficult time for you and your family. In case you lose Medicaid coverage and need to replace it, then you can choose a short-term health insurance option.
Short-term health insurance policies are temporary health insurance. They are not included in the minimum essential requirements for Obamacare. Hence, if you fail to switch to a different health insurance cover, then you may even have to pay tax penalties in several states.
Short-term health insurance plans are excellent to cover the cost of emergency medical treatments. They also cover the cost of visits to see your primary care physician and even specialists, if advised by the physician. On the other hand, if you have pre-existing health conditions from before buying short-term insurance then some of these conditions are not covered. For instance, if you suffer from diabetes, asthma and arthritis before buying the short-term insurance, then treatments for the same are not covered under the policy.
It is definitely worrisome to lose health insurance, especially if you are covered by subsidized health insurance such as Medicaid. However, there’s no need to worry anymore about the above-given alternatives.