Updated May 12, 2019: Medicaid is the federal-and-state-funded health insurance program for low-income, needy Americans and their families. States jointly fund and run their programs, so Medicaid eligibility varies, depending on where you live. Medicaid eligibility requirements are broadly based on income, disability, pregnancy, age, household size and household role.
How Medicaid works
Medicaid was created in 1965 to cover health care for Americans unable to work. The program is voluntary. States don't have to participate, though they all do. Participating states must meet parameters set by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to get federal funding, but they also have a lot of control over eligibility and covered health care services.
President Barack Obama’s health care law moved to standardize Medicaid requirements, specifically so any American making up to 133% of the poverty line could qualify. But that provision was challenged and overturned by the Supreme Court. States could expand Medicaid, but they no longer had to. Thirty-three states (plus Washington, D.C.) did; 18 didn’t. And eligibility across states has gotten even more diversified since the Trump administration announced it would allow states to impose work requirements for low-income and needy Americans receiving Medicaid.
In other words, figuring out whether you qualify for Medicaid is even more challenging than before. Enter our state-by-state guide to Medicaid, which we’ll update as changes go into effect. A few notes before we begin.
How to qualify for Medicaid
Almost every state has multiple Medicaid programs. But, as a good rule of thumb, if you make less than 100% to 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and are pregnant, elderly, disabled, a parent/caretaker or a child, there’s likely a program for you. And if you make less than 133% of the FPL, there’s possibly a program for you, depending on whether your state expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. In 2019, the FPLs (in all states except Alaska and Hawaii, which have higher guidelines) are:
|People in household||Poverty guideline|
|Over 8 people||Add $4,420 per extra person|
In 2019, the federal poverty level in Alaska ranges from $15,600 (for one person) to $54,310 (for eight people). The federal poverty level in Hawaii ranges from $14,380 (for one person) to $49,940 (for eight people).
How Medicaid eligibility is determined
Income eligibility is determined by your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), which is your taxable income, plus certain deductions. Those deductions include non-taxable Social Security benefits, individual retirement contributions and tax-exempt interest. For most people, MAGI is identical or very close to your adjusted taxable income, which you can find on your tax return. Specific income requirements in dollars rise alongside the size of your household.
Our guide focuses on each state’s major programs for adults. Most are only available to state residents, U.S. citizens, permanent residents or legal immigrants (we’ve noted the exceptions).
Looking for insurance for a child? Check out our guide to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
How to apply for Medicaid
If you’re eligible for Medicaid, you can apply all year round through your state's Medicaid website or HealthCare.gov, the federal health insurance marketplace. If you apply for Medicaid through Healthcare.gov and it looks like you qualify, the federal government will notify your state agency, which will contact you about enrollment. States also generally let you print out paper applications you can mail, fax or return directly to your local government office.
To complete your Medicaid application, you will likely need to provide documentation that you meet your state's requirements. This documentation may include:
Your birth certificate or driver's license to serve as proof of age and citzenship
Recent pay stubs or tax returns to serve as proof of income
Copies of bank statements
Proof of address, which could include a lease, utility bill statements or a copy of your mortgage
Medical records to serve as proof of disability
States have 45 days to process your Medicaid application. They have 90 days if eligibility is tied to a disability. If you don't qualify for Medicaid, you might be able to get subsidized health insurance through Healthcare.gov. However, only certain life events allow you to apply for a marketplace health care plan outside of open enrollment, which takes places from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 each year.
We have more information on what to do if you don't qualify for Medicaid, along with health insurance alternatives, listed at the end of this article for people who can't get Medicaid or qualify for one/special enrollment. But, first, scroll down to see the major programs, eligibility requirements and application processes in your state.
Eligibility overview: Alabama has Medicaid programs for needy children, parents, caregivers, pregnant women, elderly and disabled residents. It did not expand Medicaid to cover low-income adults outside those buckets.
Income requirements: For children and pregnant women, income can’t exceed between $1,520 and $$3,133 a month. For parents and caregivers, income can’t exceed between $188 and $387 a month. The exact cutoff varies by family size. Elderly and disabled residents are eligible if they make $2,313 or less per month and have less than $2,000 in resources (money in checking or savings, real estate, etc.) per month.
How to apply: You can apply for most programs directly online at Insure Alabama
Other notable programs: Medicaid Plan First, which covers family planning services, like birth control pills, annual gynecological exams, hysterectomies and vasectomies; Medicaid in the Nursing Home; Breast & Cervical Cancer Screening Program
Eligibility overview: Alaska expanded Medicaid to cover adults 19 to 64 years old who are ineligible for its other programs and making less than 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL). There are separate programs with varying eligibility requirements for pregnant women, children, parents/caretakers, elderly and disabled residents.
Income requirements: To qualify for Medicaid via expansion, your MAGI can’t exceed $1,707 per month for an individual and $2,303 per month for a two-person family. Income requirements scales from there. Last year, a family of eight couldn’t make more than $5,727.
How to apply: Residents can apply through My.Alaska.gov or via a paper application you can download from its Department of Health and Social Services website.
Other notable programs: Chronic & Acute Medical Assistance, which helps needy residents with specific chronic or terminal diseases get care; Alaska Health Insurance Premium Payment, a program that helps Medicaid recipients pay out-of-pocket costs; Adult Dental Care
Eligibility overview: Arizona expanded its Medicaid program — Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) — to cover adults who don’t qualify for its other programs, but make less than 133% of FPL. In 2019, adults are eligible for the expansion program is they make a maximum of $1,385 to $2,854 per month, depending on family size. Separate programs cover women, children, caretaker relatives, the disabled and the elderly.
Additional requirements: Adults in the expansion group making more than 106% FPL contribute premiums of 2% of household income or $25 (whichever is lower) into a health savings account and pay strategic coinsurance of $4 to $75 for certain services. You can defer premiums payments for two months, while the total amount of copays cannot exceed 5% of your family’s income during a calendar quarter.
How to apply: You can apply online using the Health-e-Arizona Plus website or via a paper application.
Other notable programs: Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program; Arizona Long Term Care System
Eligibility overview: Arkansas has Medicaid programs for needy children, parents, caregivers, pregnant women, elderly, blind and disabled residents. It also has an alternate private expansion program for adults making below 133% FPL. However, a pending proposal with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would significantly change eligibility.
Work requirements: Arkansas introduced work requirements for recipients of its expansion program Arkansas Works in June 2018, but a recent ruling by a federal judge blocked the proposal and is currently preventing anyone from losing coverage. Under the approved, but ultimately overturned proposal, enrollees had to put in 80 hours of "work activity" a month. Work activity is defined as "a job, job training, job searching, school, health education classes or volunteering/community engagement" or a combination of those activities, according to the state's Governor's office. Recipients were required to report their activity each month online at www.access.arkansas.gov. People who fail to do so for any three months in a calendar year would lose coverage for that year. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) is now urging the Trump administration to reinstate the program.
Other requirements: The expansion program, Arkansas Works, currently requires participants to pay a small premium (2% of their income). It also has a job referral program, but enrollees aren’t currently required to participate.
How to apply: Residents can apply through Access.Arkansas.gov or by printing out an application from the Division of County Operations on the Department of Health Services and dropping it off at their local DHS center.
Other notable programs: Workers With Disabilities; Long-term Care; ARChoices, a nursing and home care program for the elderly and disabled; DDS Alternative Community Services, a program for the developmentally disabled who qualify for nursing home care, but choose to stay home
Eligibility overview: California expanded Medi-Cal to cover adults making 138% below the FPL. It has special programs for elderly, pregnant, disabled, blind, parent/caretaker and child residents. It’s one of the few states that extends eligibility to undocumented residents. You can get Medicaid on refugee status for a limited time, depending how long you have been in the U.S.
Income requirements: You’re eligible for Medi-Cal if you make between $16,395 (for a family of one) and $79,392 (for a family of 12) a year. Larger families can add $5,741 per individual to their yearly salary.
How to apply: You can apply on the Covered California website, via mail, in-person at a local human services agency or over the phone at 1-800-300-1506.
Other notable programs: Medi-Cal for Families Program, in which families with incomes between 160% and 266% of the FPL pay a monthly $13 premium per child, capped at $39 a month per family; Denti-Cal; Vision Care
Eligibility overview: Health First Colorado covers children, parents/caretakers, pregnant women and adults without dependent children whose household income does not exceed 133% FPL. Separate programs cover elderly and disabled residents.
Income requirements: Parents/caretakers are also subject to the 133% FPL cap, while pregnant women are eligible when their income is under 260% FPL. For the expansion population, income requirements are capped at about $15,800 a year for a single individual.
Other requirements: Some Health First Colorado recipients must make small co-pays for certain services, like $2 for a primary care doctor visit. Pregnant women and children are exempt from these payments.
How to apply: You can apply on the Colorado PEAK website, by mail, at a local DHS office or by phone at 1-800-221-3943.
Other notable programs: Family Planning Services; Health First Colorado Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities; Health First Colorado Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities
Eligibility overview: Connecticut was the first state to expand Medicaid to adults making below 133% of the FPL. It has separate programs for pregnant women, parents/caretakers, children, the elderly and disabled.
Income requirements: For 2018, a single person is eligible for Husky D (the Medicaid expansion group) if they make below $16,643 a year. Pregnant women are eligible for Husky A is they make under $42,711 a year, while parents/caretakers in a family of two are eligible if they make under $22,411 a year.
How to apply: You can apply online at ConnectCT or by mailing or dropping off a paper application at your local DHS office.
Other notable programs: Long-term Services & Support; Medicaid for Employees with Disabilities
Eligibility overview: Delaware expanded Medicaid to cover residents with income up to 133% of FPL. It has special programs for pregnant, parent/caretaker, elderly, disabled and child residents.
Income requirements: Pregnant women are eligible for Medicaid when they make less than the 200% FPL.
How to apply: You can apply online at Delaware Assist, via paper application or by calling 1-800-372-2022 or 1-302-255-9500.
Other notable programs: Prescription Assistance program; Chronic Renal Disease program, which provides assistance residents diagnosed with end-stage renal disease; Long-term care Medicaid assistance
District of Columbia Medicaid
Eligibility overview: Washington, D.C., has one of the most generous Medicaid programs in the U.S., covering adults with household incomes up to 210% of the FPL as part of its expansion program. It also has programs for pregnant, parent/caretaker, elderly, disabled and child residents.
Income requirements: The expansion covers adults without dependents who make up to $2,124.50 a month when applying on their own. Elderly, blind or disabled D.C. residents are eligible if they make up to 100% of the FPL ($1,011.67 per month for on individual in 2018) and have resources below $4,000 for one person. D.C. also covers pregnant women with incomes up to 319% of the FPL and parents/caretakers with incomes up to 216% of the FPL. That works out to $3,205.95 and $2,185.20 per month for a family of one, respectively.
How to apply: You can apply online at DC Health Link or by visiting your closest Income Maintenance Administration Service Center.
Other notable programs: Long-term care and nursing home care services; Spend Down, a Medicaid program for people who exceed income limits, but have high medical bills; Emergency Medicaid for people who can’t qualify for standard Medicaid due to citizenship/immigration status.
Eligibility overview: Florida has Medicaid programs for needy parents/caretakers, children, aged or disabled residents, former foster care recipients and non-citizens with medical emergencies. It didn’t expand Medicaid to cover adults without kids or dependents.
Income requirements: Families making up to 100% of the FPL are eligible as are pregnant women making up to 135% of the FPL. There are programs available for elderly, disabled or blind residents making between 88% and 150% FPL.
How to apply: You can apply online at Access Florida or by mailing or dropping off a paper application to your local resource center.
Other notable programs: Medically Needy, assistance for residents who can’t qualify for Medicaid, but have high medical bills; Working disabled program; Florida Discount Drug Card program (for residents who can’t qualify for Medicaid)
Eligibility overview: Georgia has Medicaid programs for needy children, pregnant women, parents/caretakers, elderly, disabled and blind residents and people in need of nursing home care. It did not expand Medicaid to individuals outside those buckets.
Income requirements: Parents/caretakers are eligible when they make anywhere between $3,720 (for a family of one) and $7,836 (for a family of four) per year; they can add $600 per year for each additional family member. Pregnant women are eligible when they make up to 220% of the FPL a year ($26,532 per year for a family of one). Aged, blind and disabled residents are subject to income limits of $317 to $375 per month and resource limits of $2,000 to $4,000. If they are receiving SSI, income limits are $735 to $1,103 per month and resources limits are between $2,000 and $3,000.
How to apply: You can apply online at Georgia Gateway.
Other notable programs: Emergency assistance for undocumented residents; Medically Needy for residents who don’t meet the income requirements, but have high medical bills; Community and nursing home care
Eligibility overview: Hawaii implemented Medicaid expansion in 2013. Medicaid is available to children, pregnant women, parents and caregivers and some adults, including those age 65 and older.
Income requirements: Coverage for children is allowed up to 313% of the FPL, and for pregnant women it’s up to 196% of the FPL. Parents and childless adults under the age of 65 qualify if they make up to 138% of the FPL, while for the elderly and disabled the limit is 100% (plus you can only have up to $3,000 in assets).
How to apply: Residents of Hawaii can apply through the Med-QUEST Division of Hawaii’s Department of Human Services.
Other notable programs: QUEST Integration; the Medically Needy Spenddown Program; Emergency Medical Assistance for Non-Citizens; Special Medical Assistance Coverage and Programs, Premium Assistance Program; Breast and Cervical Cancer Program; Death Payment Program; Refugee Medical Assistance; Medical Assistance for Repatriates.
Eligibility overview: Idaho voted in November 2018 to expand Medicaid to all residents making less than 133% of the poverty line. The ballot initiative gives the state 90 days to submit a proposal to the federal government. In the mean time, if you’re under 19 years old, pregnant, a parent, over the age of 65, or disabled according to Social Security Administration criteria, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
Income requirements: For Medicaid coverage for children, a household’s monthly gross income can range from $2,504 to $6,370 (for a family of eight). Adult coverage ranges from $1,800 to $4,580 if pregnant, and $289 to $741 for parents. Depending on needs, the elderly and disabled are eligible up to $1,145 a month.
How to apply: Medicaid is provided by the Department of Health and Welfare.
Other notable programs: In addition to the Medicaid Standard Plan (for healthy low-income children and parents) and Enhanced Plan (for participants with disabilities or special needs), Idaho offers a Medicare-Medicaid Coordinated Plan for those enrolled in both programs.
Eligibility overview: Illinois expanded its Medicaid coverage, covering children, pregnant women, the disabled and low-income adults. Illinois Medicaid covers up to 142% of FPL for children, 208% for pregnant women and 133% for adults.
Income requirements: Adults with an annual income ranging from $13,663 to $57,022 (for a family of eight) may be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
How to apply: Medicaid is available through the state’s health insurance exchange, GetCoveredIllinois or by calling 1-800-843-6154.
Other notable programs: FamilyCare offers health insurance to parents living with children 18 or younger. Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Benefits is available for seniors or people with disabilities.
Eligibility overview: Hoosier Healthwise provides Medicaid coverage for children under 19 and pregnant women; Hoosier Care Connect for elderly and disabled applicants; and Healthy Indiana Plan (the expansion plan) for childless adults.
Income requirements: Monthly income limits for pregnant women range from $2,815 to $4,989; for children $2,513 to $5,996; and for adults $1,404 to $3,350. Elderly and disabled are covered up to $3,518 a month – based only on their individual income (other household members are not included).
Work requirements: Effective July 2019, adults in the expansion group must work, volunteer or go to school for 20 hours per week for eight out of 12 months of the year. Recipients have time to adjust, having to work five hours a week six months after the program launches. That number increases to 20 hours through July 2020. Pregnant women, caretakers of a young child, adults over 59 and the "medically frail" are exempt for the program.
Other requirements: Members are Healthy Indiana must contribute $1 to $20 a month into a HSA and cover co-pays for certain health care services, like doctors' visits. They also must file eligibility reconfirmation paperwork within 45 days of their plan's expiration date. Otherwise, they risk getting shut out of Healthy Indiana for three months.
How to apply: Indiana Medicaid is part of the Family and Social Services Administration.
Other notable programs: Additional coverage is provided by the Family Planning Eligibility Program; Emergency Services Only (for certain medical emergencies); and End-Stage Renal Disease treatment.
Eligibility overview: Iowa was granted a waiver for an alternative to Medicaid expansion. Adults between the ages of 19 and 64 whose income is up to 138% of the FPL may be eligible for Medicaid; parents (138% of FPL), children (167% of FPL) and pregnant women (375% of FPL) may also be eligible.
Income requirements: Based on the above guidelines, eligible annual income for adults is between $15,521 and $20,921.
How to apply: Iowans can apply for Medicaid through the Iowa Department of Human Services
Other notable programs: Iowa offers a number of additional assistance programs, including the American Indian or Alaska Native Program; "Care for Kids" Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Children (EPSDT) preventive health care services; in-person coordinated care through Health Homes; PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly); and the Medically Needy Medicaid for those whose income is too high for Medicaid. Children whose family’s income is too high for Medicaid may be eligible for their state Child Health Insurance (CHIP) program, hawk-i, with an income limit of 302% of the FPL.
Eligibility overview: Depending on the group, children, pregnant women, parents and caregivers, and seniors and the disabled may be eligible for Medicaid up to 171% of the FPL. Governor Sam Brownback successfully vetoed state legislators’ attempt to expand Medicaid in March 2017.
Income requirements: Income requirements for children under 19 and pregnant women range from $1,109 to $4,462; for parents and caregivers, it is $373 to $768 (for a family of 4; add $132 for each additional person); for seniors and the disabled, it is $2,943 to $3,983 with an asset limit of $15,000, but this depends on the specific program used.
How to apply: Applicants can apply through KanCare or call 1-800-792-4884.
Eligibility overview: Eligible groups include children under 19, pregnant women, parents and caretakers, and adults 19 to 65 (the expansion set).
Income requirements: Income limits range from under $16,394 for a single household to $54,690 for a household of eight. Children and pregnant women are eligible at higher income levels.
Work requirements: Kentucky became the first state to have Medicaid work requirements approved by the Trump administration, but their implementation was delayed after a federal judge ruled they had been insufficiently vetted. The state received reapproval from the federal government, only to have the same judge block the requirements from taking in April for similar reasons. The state of the proposal is now in question, but it stipulates most non-disabled Medicaid beneficiaries age 19 to 64 work, volunteer, job-train, job search, go to school or participate in another qualified activity for at least 20 hours a week. Certain groups like pregnant women and primary caretakers are exempt. The state also offered an alternative way to qualify through health or financial literacy courses.
How to apply: Applicants can visit the Kynect website or call 1-855-4kynect (459-6328).
Other notable programs: Medicaid Works is an assistance program for people with disabilities who work.
Eligibility overview: The state expanded Medicaid, so the baseline eligibility is adults with a household income of less than 138% of FPL.
Income requirements: In addition to the above FPL limit, children in households with monthly incomes ranging from $2,181 to $7,473 and pregnant women in households with monthly incomes ranging from $1,387 to $4,752 (household size of eight) are eligible.
How to apply: Online using the Louisiana Medicaid Online Application (OLA) or by calling 1-888-342-6207.
Other notable programs: Family Opportunity Act Medicaid provides health insurance to children who have disabilities in families with too much income to qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
Eligibility overview: To be eligible for Maine’s Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, applicants must also be pregnant, a parent or relative caretaker, disabled or have a disabled family member in your household, or be 65 years of age or older. FPL limits range from 100% for the elderly and disabled to 214% for pregnant women.
Note: Maine voted to expand Medicaid in November 2017, but it ballot initiative was repeatedly blocked by two-term Republican Governor Paul LePage, who previously (and also repeatedly) vetoed expansion bills passed by state legislators. LePage is slated to leave office in January. His successor, Democrat Janet Mills, has pledged to make Medicaid expansion a priority once sworn into office.
Income requirements: Annual income levels range from $15,800 for a household of one to $54,384 for a household of eight.
How to apply: Applicants can visit My Maine Connection or call 1-855-797-4357.
Other notable programs: MaineCare has a services specifically for people with cognitive and physical disabilities; the state also provides Maine SHIP (State Health Insurance Program) and a Medicare Savings Program.
Eligibility overview: The baseline FPL limit for adults is 138%, thanks to Medicaid expansion; children and pregnant women are eligible at higher limits.
Income requirements: Adults age 19 to 64 have income limits of $16,643 to $57,022; coverage for children ranges from $25,447 to $87,185; pregnant women have no maximum income limits if single but have a cap of up to $109,085 for a family of 8.
Other notable programs: MCHP Premium provides low-cost health insurance coverage for higher-income children up to age 19 between 200% FPL and 300% FPL; the Maryland Women's Infant and Children (WIC) Program provides food and health services to women and children.
Eligibility overview: Massachusetts combines its CHIP and Medicaid programs into one program called MassHealth. It expanded Medicaid, but coverage levels vary based on age, whether the applicant is pregnant, disabled, HIV-positive, has breast or cervical cancer or has children under 19. Some applicants with children making as much as 255% of the federal poverty level can get help paying health care from the state.
Income requirements: Seniors can qualify with an income up to 100% of the FPL ($1,025 a month for an individual). Adults under 65 can qualify with an income up to 138% of the FPl ($1,388 a month for an individual). Families with children or young adults under 21 can qualify with a household income up to 155% of the FPL ($2,098 for a family of two). Families with pregnant women or infants can qualify with a household income up to 200% of the FPL. ($2,775 for a family of two). People with breast or cervical cancer can qualify with a household income up to 255% of the FPL ($2,564 for an individual).
How to apply: You can apply online at MAhealthconnector.org.
Other notable programs: MassHealth also has programs that provide health services and financial assistance for families making as much as 400% of the FPL.
Eligibility overview: Michigan has Medicaid programs for low-income children, adults under 21, pregnant women, people with dependent children and adults who are elderly, blind or disabled. Families making below a certain income level may also qualify. Under its expansion, adults making less than 138% of the FPL can get coverage.
Income requirements: Families with children can qualify for Medicaid with household incomes up to 165% of the FPL ($26,796 a year for a family of two). Families with infants or pregnant mothers can qualify with incomes up to 200% of the FPL ($32,480 for a family of two.) There is also a Medicaid program for people under 21, pregnant women and babies born to women who were served by the Flint water system from April 2014. These people can qualify with incomes up to 400% of the FPL ($64,080 for a family of two). Adults can qualify for the Healthy Michigan plan with incomes up to 138% of the FPL ($22,411 a year for a family of two).
How to apply: You can apply online at www.michigan.gov/mibridges.
Other notable programs: Michigan has a health care program called MIChild for low-income children whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid. There is a $10 monthly premium. The state also has program for pregnant women who don’t qualify for Medicaid called Group 2.
Eligibility overview: Minnesota’s expanded Medicaid program for people who make low incomes is called Medical Assistance. The state allows people who make more than the limit to use a “spenddown,” which lets them deduct certain medical expenses from their income. The program has income limits and, for parents who use a spenddown, seniors and blind or disabled adults, asset limits.
Income requirements: Adults qualify for Medical Assistance with household incomes up to 133% of the FPL ($21,599 a year for a family of two). Children ages 2 through 18 qualify with household incomes up to 275% of the FPL ($44,660 for a family of two.) Pregnant women qualify with household incomes up to 278% of the FPL ($45,147 for a family of two). Infants under age 2 qualify with household incomes up to 283% of the FPL ($45,959 for a family of two). Elderly, blind or disabled people who don’t work qualify with household incomes up to 100% FPL ($16,248 for a family of two). They also meet an asset test: $3,000 for a single person or $6,000 for a household of two, plus $200 for each dependent. Working disabled people can qualify with up to 200% of the FPL ($32,724 for a family of two). They must meet an asset test: $4,000 for a single person or $6,000 for a household of two.
How to apply: You can apply online through MNSure, Minnesota’s insurance marketplace.
Other notable programs: Minnesota has a health care program for people who don’t qualify for Medicaid who make up to 200% of the FPL called MinnesotaCare.
Eligibility overview: Mississippi didn’t expand Medicaid to cover everyone making up to 133% of the FPL. Children, parents, pregnant women, disabled or elderly people qualify.
Income requirements: Infants up to age 1 qualify for Medicaid with a household income up to 194% of the FPL ($2,626 a month for a family of two). Children from 1 to 5 years old qualify with an income up to 143% of the FPL ($1,936 for a family of two). Children from 6 to 18 qualify with an income up to 133% of the FPL ($1,800 for a family of two.) Parents or relatives caring for dependent children qualify with a monthly household income up to $227 for an individual, plus about $78 for each additional member of the family. Pregnant women qualify with incomes up to 194% of the FPL ($2,626 a month for a family of two).
Other notable programs: Most Medicaid recipients in Mississippi get care through Mississippi Coordinated Access Network. Rather than paying for health services directly, the state contracts with insurance companies to manage care.
Eligibility overview: Missouri’s Medicaid program is called MO HealthNet. The state has not expanded Medicaid to cover everyone making up to 133% of the FPL. People with disabilities, seniors, pregnant women, newborns, children and women with breast or cervical cancer can get coverage if they meet income requirements.
Income requirements: Elderly and disabled people qualify with incomes up to $855 a month for an individual or $1,151 for a couple. Blind people qualify with incomes up to $1,005 or $1,354 for a couple. Elderly, disabled and blind people can have no more than $2,000 in personal assets for individuals or $4,000 for couples. Pregnant women and infants qualify with household incomes up to 196% of the FPL ($2,653 a month for a family of two). Families with children can qualify with incomes up to $241 a month for a family of two, $301 for a family of three, $353 for a family of four. Children can qualify separately with household incomes up to 150% of the FPL ($2,030 for a family of two.) Children with household incomes up to 300% of the FPL may qualify for coverage with premiums. Women with breast or cervical cancer qualify if they’re screened through the Show Me Healthy Women program, which has an income limit of 200% of the FPL.
How to apply: You can apply online here.
Other notable programs: Uninsured women can qualify for contraception and other family planning services with incomes up to 201% of the FPL.
Eligibility overview: Montana expanded Medicaid to cover everyone making up to 138% of the FPL. However, as part of the expansion, it requires most members to pay up to 5% of their quarterly income in copays. Every member chooses or is assigned a primary care provider under the Passport to Health program.
Income requirements: Adults can qualify with household incomes up to 138% of the FPL, or no more than $1,350 a month for an individual. Children are eligible with incomes up to 143% of the FPL ($1,909 a month for a family of two) and pregnant women qualify with incomes up to 157% of the FPL ($2,096 a month for a family of two). Blind and disabled people can qualify with assets worth up to $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple and incomes up to $733 a month for an individual and $1,100 for a couple. Women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer can qualify with incomes up to 250% of the FPL. Elderly, blind, disabled, pregnant women or children with income above these standards can “spend down” their medical expenses to reduce their incomes. Participants in the “spend down” program can have no more than $3,000 in assets and earn less than $658 for a family of three.
How to apply: You can apply online at apply.mt.gov.
Other notable programs: Montana’s Medicaid expansion also pushes participants to take part in jobs training.
Eligibility overview: Nebraska voted in November 2018 to expand Medicaid to all residents making less than 133% of the poverty line. Expansion is expected to go into effect next year. In the mean time, Nebraska provides Medicaid to the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, children and parents, depending on income.
Income requirements: Parents or relatives with a dependent child can qualify with household income up to 58% of the FPL ($11,844 a year for a family of three). Pregnant women and newborns qualify with income up to 194% of the FPL ($39,615 for a family of three). Children ages 1 through 5 can qualify with household income up to 145% of the FPL ($29,609) for a family of three). Children ages 6 through 18 qualify with income up to 133% of the FPL ($28,180 for a family of three).
How to apply: You can apply online through the ACCESSNebraska page.
Eligibility overview: Nevada expanded Medicaid to households with incomes up to 138% of the FPL.
Income requirements: Households with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level can qualify ($16,394 a year for an individual or $33,534 for a family of four). Children up to age 6 and pregnant women qualify with income up to 160% of the FPL ($38,880 for a family of four).
How to apply: You can apply online through Access Nevada.
Other notable programs: Nevada provides health care to children with household incomes up to 200% of the FPL through its Check Up program.
New Hampshire Medicaid
Eligibility overview: New Hampshire expanded Medicaid to cover residents making up to 138% of the FPL.
Income requirements: The New Hampshire Health Protection Program covers adults with household incomes to 138% of the FPL ($2,264 a month for a family of three). Healthy participants get help paying for premiums in private plans, while those considered “medically frail” get standard Medicaid benefits. Children with disabilities and pregnant women qualify for Medicaid with household incomes of up to 196% of the FPL ($3,336 a month for a family of three). New Hampshire also has an expanded Medicaid program that covers children with household incomes up to 318% of the FPL ($5,412 for a family of three). Blind or disabled adults can get Medicaid if they make less than $5,974 a month and have less than $40,855 in assets. Higher incomes must pay premiums.
Work requirements: New Hampshire had work requirements for its expansion group approved in early May. Under the waiver, adults ages 19 to 64 must work or participate in another qualifying “community engagement” activity, like education or job-training, for at least 100 hours a month to keep their benefits. The requirements are slated to go into effect January 1, 2019.
How to apply: You can apply online through the NH Easy Gateway to Services.
New Jersey Medicaid
Eligibility overview: New Jersey provides CHIP and Medicaid through its NJ FamilyCare program. The state expanded Medicaid to cover anyone earning up to 138% of the FPL.
Income requirements: Children 18 and under can qualify with household incomes up to 355% of the FPL ($7,278 a month for a family of four). Adults can qualify with incomes up to 138% of the FPL ($2,829 for a family of four or $1,387 a month for an individual.) Pregnant women qualify with incomes up to 205% of the FPL ($4,203 a month for a family of four). Elderly, blind or disabled people can qualify for Medicaid with income less than the FPL ($1,005 for an individual or $1,354 for a couple) and assets worth less than $4,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a couple.
How to apply: You can apply for NJ FamilyCare online.
New Mexico Medicaid
Eligibility overview: New Mexico expanded its Medicaid program to cover all needy adults. Its Centennial Care also offers Medicaid to newborns and children up to age 18, as well as their parents and caretakers. Pregnant women may also qualify for full benefits.
Income requirements: Your income must be within 138% of the FPL. Income requirements vary with the size of the applicant’s household, with the maximum income of a one-person household capped at $15,800; a four-person household at $32,319, and an eight-person household at $54,384. Maximum income requirements increase by $5,533 for each person in the household after the eighth.
How to apply: The YesNewMexico online portal provides access to a number of public assistance programs, including Medicaid, food assistance, cash assistance and energy assistance. You can also fill out and mail in a paper application.
Other notable programs: The Brain Injury Services Fund for rehabilitation of New Mexico residents living with a brain injury; Behavioral Health Services to help residents to manage mental health, substance abuse and diabetes, and other conditions; Native American health care services
New York Medicaid
Eligibility overview: New York expanded Medicaid to cover all needy adults, as well as pregnant women, infants, parents and caretaker relatives.
Income requirements: New York offers coverage to anyone earning an income within 138% of the FPL. That amounts to an annual income of $16,643 for a household of one, $33,948 for a household of four, and $68,559 for a family of 10. For each person after the 10th, New York allows an additional $5,769 to be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
How to apply: You can call the official health plan marketplace, New York State of Health, at 1-855-355-5777, or the Medicaid Helpline at 1-800-541-2831. You can also apply online at the NY State of Health website, or with a Managed Care Organization, a licensed broker, or at a local social services department.
Other notable programs: Medicaid in New York may help cover the insurance premiums of people who have AIDS; the Family Planning Benefit Program for people seeking contraception, STD screening and counseling, and who aren’t already enrolled in Medicaid; Child Health Plus, a health insurance plan for kids.
North Carolina Medicaid
Eligibility overview: Medicaid in North Carolina is available to people aged 65 or older (who can also apply for Medicare), people who are blind, disabled, or need long-term care, infants and children under age 21 and parents or caretakers. The state has not expanded Medicaid to cover all needy adults.
Income requirements: For the aged, blind or disabled, or caretakers of someone with those characteristics, your income must be within 100% of the FPL — $1,005 per month for a one-person household, $1,354 per month for a family of two. If you’re disabled but working, the FPL threshold rises to 150%. Medicaid for families with infants and children is available if you make $2,842 per month for a family of two where the children are no older than 5, going up to $5,037 per month for a five-person family. The monthly income limits for families with dependents aged 19 or 20 are $434 (family of one), $569 (family of two), $667 (family of three), and $744 (family of four). The monthly income limits for pregnant women range from $2,653 to $4,018.
Other notable programs: Health Choice, which is for children whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford private health insurance.
North Dakota Medicaid
Eligibility overview: The state expanded Medicaid to cover all low-income adults. It has separate programs for Medicare beneficiaries; workers and children with disabilities; pregnant women, or women with breast or cervical cancer; children currently in foster care or subsidized adoption; some individuals formerly in foster care and other blind and disabled people.
Income requirements: The annual limit for a one-person household is $16,643, $33,948 for a family of four, and $57,022 for a family of eight, with an additional $5,768 added for each person after the eighth.
How to apply: Most people can apply online, but those who meet certain qualifications and only want specific services should print out application forms and bring them to a local social services office. An application can also be requested by mail.
Other notable programs: Home- and Community-Based Long-Term Care for older or physically disabled people who have difficult living independently; Women’s Way, a breast and cervical cancer early-detection program
Eligibility overview: Ohio expanded Medicaid to cover all low-income adults, with separate programs for pregnant women, infants, children, older adults and individual with disabilities.
Income requirements: Adults aged 19 through 64 must earn a monthly income of up to 133% of the FPL, or $1,337 per month, which increases to $2,727 per month for a family of four. Pregnant women are eligible for coverage if they earn up to 200% of the FPL, or $2,010 per month.
Other notable programs: The Alien Emergency Medical Assistance and Refugee Medical Assistance programs provide some coverage to non-citizen residents; Behavioral Health Redesign, which aims to support behavioral health care.
Eligibility overview: SoonerCare is primarily available to children, pregnant women, parents/caretakers, elderly and disabled residents. The state did not expand Medicaid to cover all needy adults.
Income requirements: As of April 2017, households with children can earn an income of up to 210% of the FPL to qualify for SoonerCare. That means four-person households with children can earn up to $4,305 per month, or $51,660 per year. Households with pregnant women can earn up to 133% of the FPL ($32,724 per year for a family of four). Caretakers can earn up to 46% of the FPL, or up to $11,316 for a family of four.
Other notable programs: The Oklahoma Cares program was set up with the express purpose of treating breast and cervical cancer in women.
Eligibility overview: The state expanded Oregon Health Plan (OHP) to cover all low-income adults. (It considered rolling back that expansion in 2017 to cover state budget gaps, but successfully funded the program through a new voter-approved tax on hospitals and health insurers.) There are also programs for children, pregnant women and the elderly or disabled.
Income requirements: The OHP is available to adults whose income falls within 138% of the FPL, or $16,100 per year for a one-person household and $32,900 per year for a family of four.
How to apply: You can apply online. You can also apply with a paper application or call OHP customer service to have one mailed to you: 1-800-699-9075.
Other notable programs: Oregonians enjoy a strong medical marijuana program, as well as mental health and immunization services. The Oregon Health Authority has also implemented a recovery and prevention program for abusers of drugs and alcohol, as well as counseling services for people suffering from a gambling addiction.
Eligibility overview: Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid so that its program Medical Assistance (MA) is offered to low-income adults aged 19 to 64, adults aged 65 or older of any income, blind and disabled adults and families with children under 21.
Income requirements: For expansion adults (ages 19 to 64), the income limit is 133% of the FPL, or about $1,337 per month for an individual and $1,800 for a two-person family. For pregnant women and infants under age 1, family income limits must be within 215% of the FPL — $2,161 per month for an individual or $4,408 for a four-person family. For children ages 1 to 5, their family must make within 157% of the FPL, or $3,219 for a family of four.
How to apply: Apply online with COMPASS, Pennsylvania’s portal to its MA system as well as other services.
Other notable programs: Substance abuse services, breast and cervical cancer screening, dental services and family planning services.
Rhode Island Medicaid
Eligibility overview: Medicaid in Rhode Island has two different components. RIte Care is the state’s managed care program, offered to parents, children and pregnant women. The second component is its Medicaid expansion, which opens up health care coverage to any Rhode Island resident (including documented immigrants) between the ages of 19 and 64 who meets the state’s income requirements.
Income requirements: Among RIte Care participants, parents with children under age 18 must earn up to 133% of the FPL and pregnant women must earn within 253% of the FPL. Adults who qualify under the Medicaid expansion must not earn more than 133% of the FPL to qualify.
How to apply: Go online to Rhode Island’s human service programs portal. You can also apply by mail, in person or over the phone.
Other notable programs: The Ryan White HIV/AIDS support program, which offers health care, housing services, cost-sharing assistance and nutrition therapy to people living with HIV and AIDS.
South Carolina Medicaid
Eligibility overview: The state’s Medicaid program Healthy Connections is available to the aged, blind or disabled; people being treated for breast and cervical cancer; disabled children; people seeking family planning-related services, pregnant women and Medicare recipients who have difficulty paying their premiums. The state did not expand Medicaid to cover all needy adults.
Income requirements: For people who falling into the family-planning services category, the income threshold is 194% of the FPL. Aged, blind and disabled people, and qualified Medicare recipients who need help with their premiums, must have income or resources within just 100% of the FPL. Certain people who receive Medicare, need help paying their premiums, and who earn or have resources up to 120% of the FPL, can qualify for a program that only assists in paying Medicare premiums but doesn’t confer any other Medicaid benefits
Other notable programs: BabyNet, which provides support for infants under 3 years of age who have developmental delays; Autism Spectrum Disorder Services to provide treatment for people with ASD; the South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative.
South Dakota Medicaid
Eligibility overview: South Dakota has Medicaid programs for low-income families, pregnant women, certain newborns, disabled residents, elderly, residents experiencing chronic renal failure, youths formerly in foster care and refugees (for up to eight months from month of entry). It did not expand Medicaid.
Income requirements: Parent/caretakers are eligible if they make up to $613 (for a household of one) and $1,421 (for a household of eight) a month. Pregnant women are eligible for full coverage if they make between $408 (for a household of one) and $967 (for a household of eight) a month. They’re eligible for limited coverage if they make up to $1,387 (for a household of one) and $4,753 (for a household of eight) a month. The blind and elderly living at home but in need of a nursing facility are eligible when they have resources less than $2,000 and a monthly income less than 300% of the Supplemental Security Income Standard Benefit Amount of $2,205. Those 65 or older in assisted living facilities, nursing facilities or homes are eligible when they have resources less than $2,000 and a monthly income less than 300% of the SSI Standard Benefit Amount of $2,199. Those experiencing chronic renal failure must have a household income of less than 150% of the Federal Poverty Guideline and resource limits of $4,000 (for an individual) or $6,000 (for a couple).
How to apply: Residents can apply on the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) website or via a paper application available on the DSS site that can be mailed, faxed or dropped off at a local DSS office. Residents can also call 1-800-305-3064 or their local DSS office to have an application mailed to their home.
Other notable programs: South Dakota Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD); The Former Foster Care Medical Program; The Refugee South Dakota Medicaid (RMA)
Eligibility overview: Tennessee has Medicaid programs for pregnant women, children, parents/caretakers and disabled, elderly or uninsurable residents. It did not expand Medicaid to cover all low-income adults.
Income requirements: Pregnant women must be at 195% FPL and have an annual income of up to $31,668 (family of two) and $47,970 (family of four). Parents/caretaker relatives of minor children have a monthly income limit of $1,026 (family of one) to $2,091 (family of four). Aged, blind and/or disabled residents with a household of one must have a monthly income limit of $750 and resource limit of $2,000; those with a household of two must have a monthly income limit of $1,125 a resource limit of $3,000.
How to apply: Residents can apply for TennCare by calling 1-800-318-2596. If you prefer to apply by mail, there is a paper application available on the Division of TennCare website.
Other notable programs: TennCare Standard; TN Breast and Cervical Screening Program
Eligibility overview: Texas has Medicaid options for residents who are pregnant, a parent/caretaker, transitioning foster care youth, blind, disabled or older than 65. It did not expand Medicaid to cover all low-income adults.
Income requirements: Pregnant women must have a monthly income between $1,990 (for a family of one) and $4,749 (for a family of five) — add $690 for each additional person. Monthly income for a parent/caretaker must below $103 (for a family of one) and $310 (for a family of five). If there are two parents or relative caretakers, the monthly income limit is between $161 (for a family of two) and $332 (for a family of five). In either scenario, add $52 for each additional person beyond five. Medicaid for those ages 18 to 25 and who were in foster care in Texas on their 18th birthday must have a monthly income up to $4,151 (for a family of one) and $9,906 (for a family of five) — add $1,439 for each person beyond that.
How to apply: Texas residents can apply online on the YourTexasBenefits website. You can also print out an application on that site and mail it to the HHSC offices or fax it to 1-877-447-2839. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can call 1-877-541-7905 and request a paper copy be mailed to you.
Other notable programs: Women, ages 18 to 64, who are residents of Texas may be eligible for Medicaid coverage for Breast and Cervical Cancer treatments.
Eligibility overview: Programs are available for pregnant women, parents/caretakers, blind, elderly or disabled residents, children, women with breast or cervical cancer and refugees. Utah voted in November 2018 to expand Medicaid to all residents making less than 133% of the poverty line, though details on the program's rollout are not yet available. The state previously expanded Medicaid to provide coverage for single adults earning up to 5% of the FPL if they are homeless, involved in the justice system (probation, parole or court-ordered treatment for substance abuse or mental health problems) or need treatment for substance abuse or mental health problems.
Income requirements: Utah residents outside that expansion group must qualify each month for continued coverage by meeting a monthly income standard between 55% and 133% of the FPL, depending on the category. Parents with dependent children can earn up to 60% of the FLP. The Medicaid Work Incentive (MWI) program is for Utah residents who meet the Social Security criteria for disability and also have income (limit of 250% of the FPL). If the household net income isn’t more than 100% of the FPL, there is no premium, but if it is more than 100% and less than 250%, there is.
Additional requirements: For a Utah resident to be eligible for Parent/Caretaker Relative Medicaid, the child must be deprived of parent support because of a death, absence, incapacity or underemployment of a parent/caretaker relative. To qualify as deprivation due to underemployment, the primary wage earner must be unemployed or working less than 100 hours per month.
How to apply: To apply online, visit the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) website. You can also download the application to mail or fax (1-801-526-9505). You can type in your ZIP code on this UDWS page to find the closest location.
Other notable programs: Baby Your Baby; Spenddown Program; Emergency Medicaid; Foster Care Independent Living
Eligibility overview: Vermont expanded its Medicaid program, so residents qualify if they earn up to 138% of the FPL. There are special programs for pregnant women, parents/caretakers and blind, disabled and elderly residents.
Income requirements: Medicaid for children and adults (MCA) is available for people between 19 and 65 and those with a dependent child younger than 18 (or 18 and a full-time high school student graduating before turning 19) with a household income at or below 133% FPL. Dr. Dynasaur covers pregnant women who have an income below 208% FPL.
How to apply: You can apply for Medicaid for Children and Adults by filling out an online application on the Vermont Health Connect site or by calling Vermont Health Connect at 1-855-899-9600.
Other notable programs: Dr. Dynasaur is also available for kids.
Eligibility overview: As of Nov. 1, 2018, Virginians eligible for Medicaid through the state's expansion initiative could apply for coverage. Their plans will go into effect Jan 1, 2019. Prior to this change, Virginia had one of the stingiest Medicaid programs in the nation, with income limits well below the poverty line.
Income requirements: Single earners are newly eligible if they make $16,754 or less a year; Two-person households, parents (families of three) and disabled Americans are eligible if they earn up to $22,715, $28,677 or $16,754, respectively, a year. The program currently covers pregnant women making up to 143% of the FPL. Mothers making up to 200% of the FPL can get coverage for themselves and their children through the state's FAMIS plan.
How to apply: Apply through Cover Virginia or call 1-855-242-8282
Eligibility overview: Washington boasts a wider Medicaid offering than many states. Adults in financial need are covered, whether or not they have dependents, as are children, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled.
Income requirements: Individuals 19 to 64 must make $16,640 or less if living alone, or under $22,416 in a two-person household to qualify. Pregnant women living alone are subject to the same income restrictions as all adults, or under $32,160 in a household of two or $40,428 in a household of three. Children up to 19 are covered for free in households making less than $25,932 in a single-earner household or $34,920 in a two-person household. Elderly and disabled people may qualify for Medicaid as well as assistance paying premiums and medical expenses if they make $9,000 or less in a single-person household or $13,500 in a two-person household.
How to apply: Apply online through Washington Healthplanfinder or call 1-855-923-4633.
Other notable programs: Foster care: Children placed in licensed foster care are eligible to receive Medicaid until age 21, and those who were in foster care and receiving Medicaid on their 18th birthday are eligible to remain covered until 26.
West Virginia Medicaid
Eligibility overview: West Virginia expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. Eligibility is available for children 19 and under, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled, adults with dependents as well as those without dependents. Everyone receiving benefits must meet income limitations.
Income requirements: Individual adults must make $16,632 or less in a single household, $22,416 for a two-person household or $28,176 in a three-person home. Pregnant women and/ or children up to 1 year old are eligible at incomes under $19,656 for a one-person household, $26,484 in a two-person or $33,288 in a three-person home.
How to apply: West Virginia’s inROADS website. Federal Medicaid call center: 1-800-318- 2596 or make an appointment to visit a DHHR office in person: 1-877-716-1212.
Other notable programs: Women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer under the age of 65 without other health insurance may qualify for Medicaid as long as they meet certain non-financial requirements. Medicaid may also help some Medicare recipients cover the cost of co-payments, deductiblesor premiums for Medicare Part A or B.
Eligibility overview: While Wisconsin did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare, the state covers everyone under the federal poverty line under the state’s BadgerCare program. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has vowed to formally expand Medicaid under the ACA, but his current plan is being blocked by the state's Republican-led legislature.
Income requirements: Individual: $1,005 per month; two-person household: $1,353; three-person: $1,701
How to apply: Apply online through Wisconsin’s Access site
Other notable programs: Wisconsin also has separate programs dedicated to covering children in foster care (Care4Kids) and the elderly and disabled (FamilyCare).
Eligibility overview: Residents are eligible if they are parents/caretakers, children, pregnant, elderly, disabled or eligible under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. The state did not expand Medicaid to cover all needy adults.
Income requirements: Parents/caretakers are eligible if they make up to $529 (a family of one) or $1,972 (a family of 10) a month. Pregnant women are eligible if they make up to 154% of the FPL, which ranges from $1,548 and $6,376 a month, depending on household size. Children ages 6 through 18 are eligible if their household makes up to 133% FPL. Children can also get CHIP coverage with household incomes up to 200%. Women eligible for the breast and cervical cancer detection program have an income requirement of up to 250% FPL.
How to apply: You can apply online on the state’s Department of Health website.
Other notable programs: Medicare Savings program; Pregnant by Choice, which provides family-planning services to women making up to 159% of the FPL; Nursing Home/Assisted Living care.
What to do if you don't qualify for Medicaid
If you don't qualify for Medicaid, you can possibly get subsidized health care through the Obamacare marketplaces during a special enrollment or open enrollment period. Americans who make between 100% and 400% of the FPL qualify for a premium tax credit that can significantly lower the cost of a plan.
Federal open enrollment for 2019 health care plans ended on Dec. 15, 2018, though some state exchanges are open longer and Nevada sells health insurance all year round. Learn 2019 open enrollments dates by state. Healthcare.gov, the federal exchange, usually opens from November 1 to December 15 each year.
If you can't find affordable health care on your marketplace during open enrollment, you have a few back-up options. These include:
- Short-term health insurance: Originally designed to prevent short-term health insurance gaps, these plans are cheaper, but much less comprehensive than traditional coverage. They don't have to cover Obamacare's ten essential benefits or pre-existing conditions. Following changes by the Trump administration, short-term health plans can last from three months to potentially three years. (Policygenius partner Agile can help you compare the costs of short-term health insurance plans across companies.)
- Limited benefit plans: These plans cover a very small portion of the costs associated with certain "medical events", like a doctor's visit or ambulance ride. Both the number of events and dollar amounts covered are capped.
- Prescription discount cards: While these cards won't help you pay for inpatient or outpatient care, they do help you get medication at discounted rates.
- Healthcare sharing ministries: A faith-based alternative to health insurance in which individuals and families pay a monthly “sharing amount” similar to a health insurance premium and use those funds to cover ministry-approved medical expenses.
- COBRA: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) lets you keep your health insurance from a soon-to-be-ex-employer for up to 36 months, though you're expected to pay the full cost of the policy.
You can learn more about these health insurance alternatives here.
Medicaid vs. Medicare
Remember, there is a federal insurance program in place for Americans 65 and over: Medicare. This program also insures younger individuals with specific disabilities or illness. Learn more about the key differences between Medicaid and Medicare.
Medicare isn't free: Beneficiaries are expected to pay premiums, deductibles and copays/coinsurance. However, many states offer qualified low-income, needy Americans assistance for Medicare costs through their Medicaid programs.
If you qualify for Medicare, our partner Via Benefits can help you compare and buy Medicare plans in your area.
Additional reporting by Colin Lalley, Myles Ma, Alex Moore, Brooke Niemeyer and Zack Sigel.
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