Americans have the right to affordable health insurance regardless of their financial class.  The problem is that despite this many lower-income individuals and families struggle to obtain health insurance that they can truly afford.  In this blog we will dive into which health insurance options are available to poor or lower-income individuals and families.

  1. Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program): Medicaid is governmental paid health insurance that is a combination of both the federal and state level government assisting to help lower incomes households with healthcare.  With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was expanded to cover a higher income than in the past.   Medicaid is different for each state but to qualify the various factors are income, household size and disability issues.  As the name suggests CHIP is designed specifically for children.  It helps insure children from lower-income families who are not eligible for Medicaid.  Typically, both types of health insurance will have a similar network of doctors who help cater to this market.
  2. Affordable Care ACT (ACA) Marketplace: ACA is commonly referred to as Obamacare due to President Obama playing a key role to help enact the new law during his presidential term. The ACA marketplace is an online website that allows individuals, families, and small groups to enroll in affordable health insurance.  Those who have lower income levels and sometime even mid-level income may often qualify for a government subsidy to help reduce their health insurance premium.  The subsidy is in the form of a tax credit and is based mainly on income and household size.  Households that are between 100% FPL (Federal Poverty Level) and 200% of the FPL sometimes qualify for a free health insurance plan.
  3. Community and Non-Profits: A lot of communities have local area organizations/Non-profits that specifically help lower-income people regarding health insurance.  This may be through education so that the person understands how to qualify for a health plan.  This may also be through a navigator which will help the person enroll in an affordable plan. There are also non-profits that offer free healthcare for those that don’t qualify for Medicaid/CHIP or ACA marketplace.  These are often health facilities that are strategically placed in lower-income areas.

Regardless of a person’s income status the United States has various options to help those less fortunate to enroll in an affordable health insurance plan.  As the healthcare system evolves, we may see even more programs established to help offset the financial disparity of affording health insurance.

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