6 free or low-cost health insurance options

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Health insurance

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Medicaid is a social security program that provides comprehensive government health coverage for the poor. Medicaid is free health insurance for those who qualify. In most cases, there are no monthly premiums and no participation or minimum participation costs in the form of deductions or copayments .

Medicaid works slightly differently in each state, but to be eligible, you must meet low-income eligibility requirements, which vary based on factors such as age, pregnancy, and disability. In many states, adults under 65 will be eligible for Medicaid if their household income does not exceed 138% of the federal poverty level . Pregnant women and children can generally qualify for Medicaid if their household income is much higher than that level . But people 65 and older generally must have lower income and assets to be eligible for Medicaid .

However, some states have stricter screening criteria for adults under 65. In these states, you must meet the low-income requirements and also be a member of a medically vulnerable group (pregnant people, parents / guardians of a minor, seniors, people with disabilities, and children). In other words, there are some states (14 in early 2021, though there will only be 12 in mid-2021 ) where low income alone doesn't qualify you for Medicaid.

Medicaid may be available to immigrants who have legally resided in the United States for five years or more if they qualify .

Medicaid is generally not available to undocumented immigrants, although there may be exceptions, such as limited short-term emergency Medicaid coverage and emergency coverage for pregnant women. Again, eligibility for Medicaid varies from state to state. California, for example, has decided to extend Medicaid eligibility to undocumented children and youth who would otherwise be eligible for eligibility .

Medicaid is paid for with federal and state taxes and is administered at the state level (therefore coverage rules and eligibility vary from state to state). If you get Medicaid, your friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens pay for your health care with their tax money .

Although Medicaid is government health insurance, the vast majority of services provided to Medicaid recipients are provided by private companies and health care providers. If you get Medicaid, you are likely to be treated at the same hospitals and doctors as your privately insured neighbors.

And most states have contracts with private insurance companies to manage insurance coverage, which means that your insurance coverage ID card may have the name of a well-known private insurance company .

You can apply for Medicaid through your Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act or by contacting your state Medicaid program directly .

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