What are the available health insurance programs for aging and/or low-income people?
Medicare is a Federal health insurance program for people 65 years or older, certain people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Medicare has two parts: Part A, which is hospital insurance, and Part B, which is medical insurance. For information on Medicare, visit the website at or call toll free 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage: Since January 1, 2006, everyone with Medicare, regardless of income, health status, or prescription drug usage has had access to prescription drug coverage. For more information about this program, visit: http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/index.html.
Medicaid is a jointly-funded, Federal-State health insurance program that helps many people who can't afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. Medicaid is available only to people with limited income. You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid does not pay money to you; instead, it sends payments directly to your health care providers. Depending on your state's rules, you may also be asked to pay a small part of the cost (co-payment) for some medical services.
Learn More: http://www.medicaid.gov/
The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), created in 1997, expands health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. Through the national "Insure Kids Now" initiative, each state has its own SCHIP program that makes health insurance coverage available to children in working families. For more information, visit www.insurekidsnow.gov or call toll free 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). This website and toll free number also provide information on Medicaid.
The Affordable Care Act program can help individuals who have income that is higher than the Medicaid eligibility levels. The lower your income, the lower your costs. However, you generally won’t qualify if your estimated 2014 income is above:
- $45,960 for an individual
- $94,200 for a family of 4
To figure out if you may qualify for lower costs:
- Use our chart to quickly see income eligibility levels for different household sizes.
- Use the Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator to see what your savings might be.
- Learn how to count your income and household size when figuring out if you qualify for lower costs.