Last updated on August 28th, 2015
It is very rare for a young person to begin life after high school or college with an enormous bankroll. As you step out on your own and start down the path to a successful career, there is a good chance you’ll start at the bottom of the salary scale. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot find a good medical insurance plan that fits your lifestyle and budget while giving you the ability to cover the costs of your healthcare needs. When you go out to look for plans to sign up with, check out these low income health insurance options.
Health Insurance Exchanges are Great for Those with Low Incomes
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or as many people know it, Obamacare, created health insurance exchanges, which are online marketplaces that allow people to go on the Internet to purchase health insurance. Available insurance plans will be easily accessible on the exchanges, and the premiums are easy to determine.
In addition, when you buy health insurance through the exchanges you might qualify for subsidies to help offset the cost of the monthly premiums and out of pocket expenses. Eligibility for these subsidies can quickly be determined online when the insurance plan is bought. And the lower your income, the greater the financial assistance.
The online marketplaces are run by each state, so the same insurance options will not be available in every state. Insurers are not required to participate in each state.
Medicaid is possibly another low income health insurance option. Medicaid provides health benefits at a very low cost. Like the exchanges, Medicaid is administered by each state, so check out your state’s Medicaid program for eligibility. Not all states have the same Medicaid access.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
If you make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but you still need financial assistance to cover your children with health insurance, you should look into CHIP. CHIP is a low income health insurance option that can provide your kids with quality healthcare at little or no cost.
Like the other two options listed above, CHIP is run by the states, and in most cases is administered very closely with Medicaid.
Check the Health Insurance Plan at Work
If your employer offers you health insurance, you should seriously take a look at the plan designs available and the cost of each. PPACA sets a limit on how high employers can set the monthly contributions for their employees (or else face a steep fine). Because of this, if you are eligible for medical benefits at work, you stand a good chance of receiving quality health insurance at a low cost.
Check Out Your Parents’ Health Insurance Plan
PPACA allows children to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until the child reaches age 26. If you are under this cap, and your parent is already covered by a family plan, then adding you to the plan can typically be done without an additional cost.
Increase Your Out of Pocket Liability
Out of pocket limits on health insurance plans are part of the formula that determines premiums. The higher the out of pocket expenses, such as deductibles, the lower the premium. If you want to be able to have coverage at a low cost, consider a plan with a high deductible or what some people would call a catastrophic plan. It will leave you with high medical bills if you need service, but at least you’ll be able to afford the insurance to start with.
There are several ways to find quality insurance for all people, and these low income health insurance options are great places to start.