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Old 07-01-2012, 03:13 PM
listedmia listedmia is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 309
Will Obamacare make Medicaid/Medicare easier to obtain?

So, I've always assumed that as a single, non-disabled young adult with no children, I'm not eligible for Medicaid, even if my income is very low. Will the new health care law change this? I have heard that they are raising the income threshold and possibly making Medicaid available for low-income people without children, but I have also heard that some states are allowed to opt out of this. What are people who don't qualify for Medicaid but don't make enough to purchase their own insurance supposed to do in these states? Are they still subject to fines under the individual mandate? I live in Louisiana, by the way. If this question has been answered in another thread, please point me towards it.

(Thanks to another health care reform provision, I don't have to worry about this right now because I can stay on my folks' health insurance til age 26, but my boyfriend and a lot of our friends might be affected.)
Old 07-01-2012, 04:57 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,701
Obamacare includes a large expansion of Medicaid that will cover very low income people (up to 133% of the poverty line, IIRC). However, the Supreme Court struck down the provision that forced every state to participate in this expansion, as each state runs Medicaid separately. So some states may opt out of the expansion, which would pretty thoroughly screw everyone in this very low income category. So it'll be up to your state government -- and since participating in this expansion brings in a whole load of federal money, my WAG is that only a few hard-line conservative states will reject the expansion.

There are some exemptions for the penalty -- if the cost of insurance is more than 8% of your income, or you meet the "financial hardship" requirements, you will not have to pay the penalty. Otherwise, that penalty will start in 2014 at 1% of income, and increase to 2.5% of income after a few years. And depending on household size, that penalty has a minimum (starting at $95 for individuals) and a maximum ($4500, which is the target cost of a basic insurance plan).

OTOH, you'll also qualify for subsidies if your income is between 133% and 400% of the poverty line. At the lowest end, subsidies will bring down the cost of insurance to 2% of your income, as compared to the 1% penalty.

Last edited by lazybratsche; 07-01-2012 at 05:00 PM.
Old 07-01-2012, 06:29 PM
listedmia listedmia is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 309
That was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! It has been surprisingly difficult to find this info in any news stories about this.
Old 07-01-2012, 07:25 PM
jasg jasg is online now
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Upper left hand corner
Posts: 4,671
The ACA won't change your access to Medicare (you have to be 65). As noted, Medicaid will change (depending on your state, sorry not sounding good for Louisiana.)

Here is an older, but still valid tool to use.

Here are other good links.
Old 10-11-2013, 05:51 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nevada
Posts: 2,167
Originally Posted by jasg View Post
The ACA won't change your access to Medicare (you have to be 65). ..
I am over 65, several chronic conditions, and have been on Medicare for ten years. It isn't clear to me if I will need more, less or the same supplemental coverage. Any suggestions as to where to begin looking.


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