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10 Things Every Low Income Family Should Know About Open Enrollment For the Affordable Care Act

Low income man receiving healthcare

Open enrollment for healthcare insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. There is good news this year -- 31 states have expanded Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults, so low-income individuals and families who have been unable to get it in the past should enroll this year.
Washington, D.C. and 31 other states have expanded Medicaid eligibility, so now more low-income adults -- even without dependent children -- can qualify for coverage. Another positive fact about ACA healthcare is that, although 19 states did not expand Medicaid, low-income people in those states will not pay any penalty for not having coverage if they cannot find affordable coverage.

Before you sign up, here are 10 things you need to know:
  • In states that expanded Medicaid, you may qualify for Medicaid if you earn $16,643 a year as a single individual or $28,180 for a family of three.
  • In states that did not expand, non-disabled adults who are parents with very low income will qualify.
  • You may be eligible for tax credits to lower your premium if you are single and your annual 2018 income is between $12,060 to $48,240 or if your household income is between $20,420 to $81,680 for a family of three.
  • You can also qualify for help with cost sharing, with special plans that have lower deductibles, copays, and annual out-of-pocket limits on cost sharing.
  • Regardless of whether a state expanded or did not expand Medicaid, children are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) if their family income is about $40,000 (for a family of three), or more in some states.
  • You can apply for coverage during the open enrollment period that runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.
  • Nine states - California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington - have extended open enrollment beyond Dec. 15, 2017.
  • If you qualify for Medicaid, you can enroll at any time, not just during open enrollment.
  • If you have Medicaid today, you continue to have that coverage.
  • If you have questions, you can call the federal government’s toll-free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-318-2596 anytime.

For more information on open enrollment for ACA, visit www.healthcare.gov

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