Medicare: Which Expansion is Right for You

Compare The Different Medicare Expansion Options For You

If you’re like most Americans, then you’ve been paying attention to the recent debates about Medicare expansion. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) originally required states to expand their Medicaid programs in order for citizens below 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to qualify for tax credits and subsidies through state-based health insurance exchanges. With the Supreme Court decision on ACA last year, this requirement has been struck down as unconstitutional. As a result, millions of people will remain uninsured and those with private coverage will continue seeing higher premiums due to increasing healthcare costs.

To ensure that healthcare costs continue to be affordable for everyone, many states have been turning towards a Medicare expansion as an alternative. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, ten states were considering a Medicaid expansion in 2013.

The best Medicare expansion option for you depends on a variety of factors, including your income level and eligibility for other government programs.

Medicare Expansion

The ACA offers tax credits and subsidies to those who purchase insurance through state-based health insurance exchanges. However, if you are not eligible for Medicaid due to your income level or if your state has declined the Medicaid expansion, then you will not be able to receive these benefits.

One option is to purchase private health insurance. However, premiums for private coverage have been increasing at faster rates than both employer-sponsored coverage and public coverage (such as Medicaid and Medicare). As a result, many people are finding it difficult to afford private coverage.

If you are not eligible for Medicaid and your state has not expanded its program, then you may be able to receive subsidies through the ACA health insurance exchanges.

The second option is to enroll in a Medicare expansion. This would make you eligible for Medicaid and also give you access to tax credits and subsidies if you purchase insurance through a state-based health insurance exchange.

The downside of enrolling in a Medicare expansion is that your eligibility for other government programs may be affected. For example, if you qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, then you will only be able to receive benefits from one program (usually Medicaid).