Last-minute insurance seekers rushed to buy Obamacare ahead of the nationwide open enrollment deadline, but not every American is tied to that deadline. People who qualify for social health care programs like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can enroll any time of the year.
THE LOWDOWN ON MEDICAID
Individuals and families may qualify for free or low-cost health insurance coverage through Medicaid. This coverage is designed for some Americans with low-incomes, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Eligibility depends on income, family size and where you live.
Where you live could make a big difference if you are applying for Medicaid. Some states expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act so that more people are eligible. In those states, if an individual earns less than $16,105 a year or a family of four earns less than $32,913, they will probably qualify for Medicaid.
In states that did not expand Medicaid, people who earn less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible Medicaid. In other words, if you earn less than about $11,490 a year as an individual or about $23,550 for a family of four, you may qualify.
Apply for Medicaid
If you think you qualify for Medicaid, head to Medicaid.gov. If you earn enough money for private health insurance, start shopping for brand-name affordable coverage through GoHealthInsurance.com.
QUICK FACTS ON CHIP
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health coverage to kids in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but have difficulty
paying for private coverage for their kids. Some states offer CHIP to parents and pregnant women. Every state offers coverage through CHIP and works closely through its state’s Medicaid program.
Benefits of CHIP
Coverage through CHIP varies by state, but all states provide comprehensive coverage, including:
· Routine check-ups
· Doctor visits
· Dental and vision care
· Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
· Laboratory and X-ray services
· Emergency services
Apply for CHIP
You can visit www.insurekidsnow.gov, or call 1-877-543-7669 to see if your family qualifies.