A government subsidized health insurance is a health coverage at reduced or no cost. Also known as subsidized coverage. There is more than one way you can get low-cost health insurance if you’re looking for one.
The most commonly known government health insurance is Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Other than these two, there are the Marketplace health insurance plans. Those who need to get government-subsidized health insurance but don’t qualify for the above can get it through the Marketplace.
In addition to these, there is Medicare but we will exclude it as it isn’t really subsidized by the government.
Medicaid and CHIP
Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are similar as far as qualifying for it and the coverage goes. If you cannot afford health insurance, Medicaid or CHIP may be free of cost or very low-cost. Same as any regular health coverage, you will get coverage for doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospitalization.
As for how to get Medicaid or CHIP, you must apply for it first. You can do this via your state’s Medicaid office. What determines your eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP is your income, household size, whether or not you or any member of your family has a disability, and other factors.
It is also possible to apply for Medicaid and CHIP through Health Insurance Marketplace. More on that below.
Health Insurance Marketplace
Commonly known as just the Marketplace is where eligible individuals and families can get government subsidized health insurance. It was first established with the Affordable Care Act and it went under some changes since then. Just like purchasing private health insurance in an insurer’s website, you can see and compare plans on the Marketplace.
If your income is very low, we suggest checking your eligibility for Medicaid first to see if you qualify. Assuming you’re not eligible for Medicaid, you’re better off purchasing health coverage through the Marketplace.
This can be done easily but there is an open enrollment period. Unless you qualify for the Special Enrollment Period, you must enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace between November 1st and December 15. With that said, to get health coverage through Marketplace for the 2021 calendar year, you must enroll between November 1 and December 15, 2020.