En español l The health care law gives people with low incomes new options for getting health coverage. It does this in two ways. It gives states the option to expand Medicaid to more people. It also makes financial help available to people with limited incomes who buy health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Medicaid is the joint state and federal government program that pays the health care costs for many people with limited incomes.
- Before the health care law, millions of uninsured 50- to 64-year-old Americans, as well as many younger people, were not eligible for Medicaid, no matter how low their incomes.
- Your state has the option in 2014 to make Medicaid available to more people. Your state can also decide not to make this change.
If your state does make this change, Medicaid will pay most of your health care costs if you:
- Are younger than 65
- Do not have Medicare
- Are single and earn less than about $15,500, or are part of a couple that earns less than about $21,000. These figures, based on the 2012 federal poverty level, are subject to change.
Helps pay for insurance
- If you can’t get Medicaid, you may be able to get financial help to pay for the health insurance you get through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The amount of help you can get depends on your income.
- If you need insurance because your employer doesn’t make it available, you are self-employed or not working, or you have been denied coverage, you can shop in the marketplace in your state.
- In the marketplace you will be able to shop for health insurance. You’ll be able to compare the benefits and costs of health plans side by side.
- You can get information about the costs of health insurance plans when the marketplace begins enrollment in October 2013. Coverage starts in 2014.
- All health insurance plans in the marketplace must cover essential benefits, including hospitalization, medical care, mental health services, prescription drugs and rehabilitation services.
Updated August 2013