Alaska Medicaid Expansion: Can I Use Medicaid to Satisfy the Health Insurance Requirement?
One way to satisfy Obamacare’s health insurance requirement is to obtain coverage under Medicaid. If you qualify for Medicaid and enroll in Alaska's Medicaid program, you do not have to sign up for another insurance plan.
It’s Now Easier to Qualify for Medicaid in Alaska
The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility to cover more people who can’t afford health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court later decided that it was up to individual states to decide whether or not to expand Medicaid.
Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that Alaska will expand its Medicaid program beginning September 1, 2015. This means that you can qualify for Medicaid if you earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level. For Alaskans, in 2017, 138% of the poverty level is about $20,783 for an individual or $42,435 for a family of four.
The Medicaid Expansion Threshold: 133% or 138%?
If you have been reading about Medicaid eligibility, you may have noticed that some sources say the threshold has been raised to 133% of the federal poverty level, while others say 138%. It seems confusing, but both are true. The text of the Obamacare law says 133%, but a new way of calculating income means that the practical outcome is you will qualify if you fall below a threshold of 138%. For a full explanation, see the Affordable Care Act FAQs from the American Public Health Association.
If You Don’t Qualify for Medicaid
If you make more than 138% of the federal poverty level but your income is still low, you can investigate the health insurance plans available to you at HealthCare.gov. You will probably be eligible for cost-saving subsidies based on your income and family size.
For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in Alaska.
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