The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to provide as many Americans as possible with access to affordable health insurance. Many citizens are finding they need to take advantage of the ACA’s provisions that provide help with health care costs. Some people also wonder if health care financing of any kind is available.
When You Need Affordable Health Insurance
When you are looking for help financing health care coverage, the first place to start is by applying with your state’s health insurance Marketplace. By completing an application, you’ll discover if you’re eligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or any premium tax credits for purchasing insurance through the Marketplace. Visit HealthCare.gov to be directed to the Marketplace website for your state.
For many Americans, affordable health insurance is available through the workplace. If that is not the case, you may qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. Many states expanded their Medicaid guidelines after the ACA was passed, so even if you’ve been declined before, it’s worthwhile to apply again. When your fill out your state’s Marketplace application, you will immediately be reviewed for these coverage options.
If you don’t have other affordable options, the Marketplace offers help with health care costs to many Americans. Those who earn between 100 percent – 400 percent of the federal poverty level will qualify for tax credits to help lower the monthly premium of a private insurance policy purchased through the Marketplace. Those who earn between 100 percent – 250 percent of the federal poverty level will also qualify for help with health care costs such as copayments and deductibles. For 2015, the federal poverty level is $24,250 for a family of four.
Other Options For Financing Health Care
If you don’t qualify for any health coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare, or CHIP, you may wonder if there are other health care financing options. Some providers may be willing to work with you directly on rates or offer a payment plan for services. Many times, you can offer to pay the insurance rate, which is lower than the retail rate for medical care.
The ACA also increased funding for Community Health Centers, which provide basic medical care for those who cannot afford or obtain health insurance. These facilities generally charge on a sliding scale based on income, which can help with health care costs significantly. For assistance in finding a Community Health Center near you, visit the Find a Health Center website from the Health and Human Services Department.
If you need affordable health insurance, the ACA was designed to help. Many states expanded Medicaid guidelines, and the government offers tax subsidies to help with health care costs. For those who cannot obtain insurance, there are often other health care financing options, including provider-based payment plans and community health centers. However you go about obtaining your health care financing, knowing that you’re covered will bring significant peace of mind.
To learn about getting health insurance when unemployed, read How to Get Health Care When Unemployed.