Getting affordable health insurance can be difficult for anyone these days, but especially if you’re a lower income household. With costs of healthcare constantly increasing it causes the costs of health insurance to increase as well. 58% of Americans have household incomes less than 400% of the federal poverty level. When your income is less than 400% FPL, you should qualify for lower cost health insurance based on your income.
Low Income Health Insurance Options
Some states will allow you to purchase health insurance based on your health. When a health insurance policy is based on your health, its considered an underwritten policy. At full price, these underwritten health plans are often a lower price than alternatives. Regardless of your income level, if you are healthy enough to qualify for an underwritten health insurance policy, then these can be a great option to get affordable health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, yes it still exists) allows you to purchase health insurance based on your income. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over half (58%) of Americans are under 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL). The households under this 400% threshold most likely will be eligible for a subsidy on their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Getting a lower price based on income doesn’t lower the qualify of the plan. You get at least the same level of coverage as someone who pays full price for the same policy. If your income is under 250% of the federal poverty level, you might be eligible for a lower price AND better coverage. Households under 250% FPL, are eligible for “cost sharing reductions” (CSR’s) which lower out of pocket costs for health services.
Isn’t Medicaid for Low Income Households?
Medicaid healthcare programs are designed for lower income households. However, depending on the state you live in, your income must be less than 100% or 138% of the federal poverty level. Medicaid is a program that is managed by each individual state, so the rules for eligibility can vary. If your income is less than 100% or 138% of the FPL, you should apply for Medicaid through your state. With an income between 100% or 138% and 400% of the poverty level, you should qualify for an ACA subsidy.
How Do I Get Subsidized Health Insurance?
Shopping for health insurance online can be a confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating experience. It’s hard to differentiate between unlicensed advertisements with too-good-to-be-true offers for health insurance from the legitimate health plan options. We always recommend talking with one of our trusted, licensed, enrollment specialist over the phone. You can start your shopping online, but we encourage you to finish over the phone with a benefit advisor. People who work with a dedicated benefit advisor have reported a better shopping experience and are more pleased with their health insurance.