With the difficulty for many people to pay for necessary health care, there are a number of different types of government-provided health insurance. Many people assume that this type of insurance requires individuals to be dirt poor to qualify, but this is not actually the case. Read on for a review of many of the options offered by both federal and state governments to help keep you and your family healthy.
Perhaps the most well known governmental health insurance program is Medicaid. Offered to low income individuals, it is jointly funded by both the federal and state government, and managed by each individual state separately. One of the most important aspects for qualification is that an applicant be considered to be living at or below the current federal poverty level, which varies from year to year. Assets are also taken into consideration, and a person or family may be deemed ineligible if their assets exceed a certain amount.
Medicaid is also available to some other citizens, including those that are pregnant and without insurance, the disabled, blind, and some children. Even if a child’s parents are not eligible for Medicaid, he or she most likely will be eligible for Medicaid on their own status, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to obtain proper and necessary medical care.
Medicare is also very well known, administering health insurance to those that are over age 65, as well as individuals that are under 65 and are permanently disabled. Generally speaking, 80% of medical expenses are covered by Medicare health insurance, while the remaining 20% is expected to be paid by the insured. Recipients of Medicare may also opt to obtain Medicare Supplement Insurance from a third party company to help cover this remaining 20%.
One of the biggest problems for individuals with pre-existing conditions that unexpectedly lose their health insurance is obtaining an affordable policy. If they are not disabled, are not offered insurance through an employer, and are denied health insurance by traditional insurance companies, many people may think they’re just out of luck.
Fortunately, most (if not all) states have high risk health insurance pools just for such people. However, due to the increased payouts due to medical costs, monthly fees for the insured are generally relatively high. Some states budget funds to help offset this problem, reducing the costs, but others provide extensive coverage- at an extensive price.
Those that find that their state high risk pool is simply too expensive might consider the Federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. In order to qualify, one must be a US citizen or be here legally, have been uninsured for at least the past 6 months, and have a pre-existing condition.
Healthy individuals that do not have health insurance through their employer and do not qualify for Medicaid may find that their state has an insurance plan specifically for them. For example, Indiana has a relatively new health insurance plan called HIP (Healthy Indiana Plan) which provides the needed coverage at an affordable price.