Do You Qualify for Free Coverage Under ObamaCare? Find Out Here

Under the Affordable Care Act, people who have income between 100-133% of the federal poverty level will either be exempt from the mandate, or will be automatically enrolled in their state’s Medicaid program (free coverage paid for by the government). States are allowed to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, and some have already elected to do so (see the map below to find out where your state stands).  This means that people with incomes at 133% of the federal poverty level or lower will be exempt from the ObamaCare mandate if their state has opted out (the first and second columns in the chart below).  They are still free to purchase private health insurance through the exchanges, but they are not legally required to do so.  Individuals and families with incomes between 133-400% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for premium and cost-sharing credits that will help pay for their health plans in order to avoid imposing an unfair financial burden on the person or family.  These credits will be applied to your federal income tax return each year.

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Note: Since this map was created, Arizona has passed Medicaid expansion and is officially participating.

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Learn more here: ObamaCare in Plain English: What it Means for You

  1. So, I qualify. Where/how do I sign up?

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  2. What if your paying child support? Are you still considered 1 person family or can you use them as a family in which you are since you are supporting them! This really needs to be looked at. Not exactly fair for the person paying out of pocket expense and get’s no credits or rewards for doing such. Some never pay the court ordered payments anyway….how do they do that? Personally I am paying more than I have to, but it’s really causing a extreme hardship on me.

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    • only if you can claim them on your taxes, just like anything else.

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    • John, if you can claim the child as a dependent, then it is considered a 2-person family. I agree that this is a confusing issue that needs more clarification. I will do some more research on it and get back to you with more information.

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  3. If my wife claimed my daughter on her taxes, can I claim her for Obamacare now that she lives with me?

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  4. Deborah Hastings July 17, 2013, 1:32 pm

    I qualify, but what happens to the people like me with no income and no health insurance in states not participating? Are we just SOL?

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    • Yes, I would like to have access to Obamacare but the idiotic state in which I live has opted out. Do I have to move in order to participate?

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      • At this point yes. You can get the reduced rates and guaranteed coverage for insurance that comes from the exchanges but won’t get any subsidies if you are below 133% of poverty level. You would need to to move to a state with a better, smarter governor and legislature.

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      • Natalie, if you qualify for free coverage, you would have to move to a state with the Medicaid expansion to receive the free plan. If you qualify, but live in a state without Medicaid expansion, then you are not required to purchase your own plan and will not be hit with a penalty tax. If, however, you make too much to qualify, you will need to obtain a plan through your employer or purchase your own plan through the exchanges that open in October. For more details on this, see my post “ObamaCare in Plain English: What it Means for You” here: http://bluestreetjournal.com/2013/01/15/obamacare-in-plain-english-what-it-means-for-you/

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  5. where do I go for more information?

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  6. Deborah Hastings July 17, 2013, 1:35 pm

    I qualify. But, what happens to people like me with no health insurance in states who aren’t participating? Like Alabama?

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  7. But…if you’re in one of the states that is not participating, fall between the100% and 133% numbers, and you STILL WANT healthcare insurance, you are not allowed the “cost-sharing” credits. I can’t explain how infuriating that is. The states that opted out of Medicaid Expansion are basically flipping off the residents who MOST NEED HELP GETTING HEALTH CARE.

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  8. My husband is now immigrating here from Canada and I’m disabled. I qualify for medicaid, but I don’t know what’s going to happen to us now. I’m certain he doesn’t qualify for any sort of assistance, so this is definitely going to be a challenge. While I’m happy for the millions of people who will now be insured, I worry because it’s already hard to put food on the table twice a day. To top it off, he can’t work for another 90 days because we have to wait for his work permit. It’s hard to be poor and in love…

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  9. RG – You guys have it backwards! You should be moving to Canada. Healthcare is great up there! If I had an in, I’d go in a second.

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  10. Where do I sign up

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  11. Is there any way of getting ObamaCare if your state is not participating?

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    • Yes you can. If your state decides not to participate the federal government will set up the insurance marketplace for your state.

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  12. If you state doesn’t participate and you fall in the 100-133%, you still can pay for insurance at a discount. The article says you get back when you file your fedral income tax, this is wrong. It is automatically applied to your monthly bill. Meaning your monthly bill will be lower. In October the federal website will be up and running for you to shop and pick before the new year.

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  13. Amanda Forrester July 17, 2013, 2:42 pm

    I live with my mother and brother. I don’t have a job and I have been going back to school.my mother has insurance that covers my brother not me I have aged out. I have been without insurance for five years. I can use charity at the hospital but can’t get any other dr visits.please help
    Amanda forrester

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  14. Scott Walker is an embarrassment to Wisconsin and the nation.

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    • AGREED!!! I’m right around the 100% poverty level and right now I’m waiting for re-approval on my Badgercare/Medicaid…and I’m sitting here scared that they’re going to turn me away. I have a chronic health condition, require medications to literally stay alive, I NEED health coverage. Jobs here are mostly part time, no benefits. How does a person get ahead? If he would have accepted the federal funds for Medicaid, so many people wouldn’t be struggling. If he would be participating in the Affordable Healthcare Act, people wouldn’t be scrambling and concerned. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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  15. That’s is a good question about the child support issue. Single parents who pay child support and are required to pay for the children’s health insurance should be allowed to count those kids in their family size. People who pay child support never this amount subtracted from their income when applying for any other aid or program where income is taken into account, and it SHOULD be deducted from income. That is a totally unfair policy that screws over so many parents. Hopefully the government has taken this into account for once.

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  16. My state, Virginia does not participate. I lost my health insurance two years ago. I started a small business in 2010. To keep the business going I make less than 12k. I can’t afford Medicare. Most hospitals in my area are privatized. No money no care

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  17. What Are the Consequences of ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion Opt-Out?

    If the states decide to Opt-Out of Medicaid expansion, ObamaCare itself will have to step up to the plate and insure these individuals via the ObamaCare Health Exchanges. The anti-ObamaCare states who reject Medicaid will not only hurt their poorest, it will affect every tax paying American and every American who has health insurance.

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  18. I just want to thank the writer for defining ACA in the simplest words so people can finally understand how it can impact their access to health care. Also, comments or the questions from readers are also really useful. I certainly learned something new today.
    Healthcare.gov has good information but Kaiser Permanente website also includes tons of information about the health care reforms, ACA in really simple, plain Eng that we all can understand.
    http://healthreform.kaiserpermanente.org/

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