So your income is low, and you’re wondering whether you qualify for Medicaid health care benefits. Medicaid is very complex, but if you are eligible, Medicaid can serve as health insurance for you and any members of your family who are also deemed eligible. Many who are employed, and who would not necessarily view themselves as low income, may still qualify for some benefits. These fact sheets on the State of the Ohio website give you a place to start for basic information.
The main categories of Medicaid, with links to income eligibility charts, are:
- Families, Pregnant Women and Children under the Healthy Start & Healthy Families Program
- Older Adults and People with Disabilities of any age.
- Medicaid Buy-In for Disabled Workers under Age 64
- Assistance for 19- and 20-year-olds
Now here’s the part that may surprise you. Let’s say you are a pregnant woman in a family of four, and you earn $44,000 a year. Do you think you should apply?
The answer is yes, because you may be eligible, as pregnant women in families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level may be eligbile. For a family of four, the 2011 poverty level is $22,350 — meaning that someone with a $44,000 income is within 200% of that level. This same kind of scenario can play out in many different catergories. In other words, many people, in many different circumstances, quality for some level of benefit.
While Medicaid is a federally supported program, rules vary from state to state.
To complicate things more, there are many categories of eligibility, involving different agencies of government, and income requirements that vary according to individual circumstances.
In general, you’ll need to fit into one of the eligibility categories that Medicaid serves.
If you are an able-bodied adult without children, and you are not elderly, you probably will not fit into one the categories.
In some cases, children are eligible even if their parents or guardians are not.
If you think your individual circumstances, combined with your income level, might make you eligible, you should apply for assistance, either through an online application or through a government agency that administers Medicaid. If you live in Summit County, the place to start is with the Summit County Department of Jobs and Family Services office.
If you apply online, a social worker will contact you to discuss your application. If you become a Medicaid recipient, you may be asked to pay a small part of some of your medical services. In all cases, reimbursements will go directly to your health care provider.
The program offers a variety of different benefits, but since this website focuses on health care, the information you’ll find here relates only to health care benefits.