Author Topic: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?  (Read 1320 times)

FIREin2018?

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2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« on: November 20, 2018, 08:49:20 PM »
I FIRE'd in late 2018 and my company health insurance runs out jan  2019.

it looks like Obamacare now asks for income verification by feb 2019 else they cut your subsidies for the rest of 2019.
so i cant just say i plan to make $17k in 2019 to get maximum subsidies.
i have to show proof such as a pay stub.

My state (VA) approved expanded Medicaid a few months ago.
I assume if your income is 138% or less than Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) that it's easy to get on Medicaid?
ie: your $400k house, $200k in the bank/stock market and $600k in 401k/IRA/Roth won't disqualify your eligibility???

if so, is it better to be on Medicaid or make the minimum (ie: $17k/yr) to qualify for Obamacare?

Thx
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 09:08:18 PM by FIREin2018? »

jpdx

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2018, 01:58:46 AM »
ACA eligibility is based on income. There is no asset test.

secondcor521

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2018, 01:10:31 PM »
it looks like Obamacare now asks for income verification by feb 2019 else they cut your subsidies for the rest of 2019.
so i cant just say i plan to make $17k in 2019 to get maximum subsidies.
i have to show proof such as a pay stub.

This differs by state.  In my state, you could just tell them that your income is lower because you're retired, and they would believe you and you would get the subsidies without much fuss.

From my understanding, most states will eventually accept your application and approve subsidies, but the amount of hassle differs.  Usually you can get someone who understands what your situation is and they'll approve your application, perhaps with whatever reasonable documentation you can provide - your letter of resignation or something saying you're no longer working (maybe your company's COBRA notice if you got one of those), along with a letter showing what your income sources now that you're retired will be.

Roadrunner53

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2018, 07:49:41 AM »
When we went on ACA my Hub retired in April 2015. His company covered April's health insurance. As of May 1 we were on ACA. They consider it a special enrollment period and I believe you have 60 days to enroll. If you still qualify for the 60 day period, I would jump on it. They do not take into consideration your savings, value of home, etc. only incoming income. (Income is SS income, pensions, Ira's, investment income such as interest and dividends, wages). For the Hub and me we could earn around $63,000 and still get the subsidy and it was over $1,000 a month.

Hub went onto Medicare in 2017 and I went on it in August this year. We still have to keep income at the approx. $63,000 level till the end of the year or we have to pay the subsidy back. Very important to stay below the radar screen all year long or you have to pay it all back. Next year we won't have to worry about income limits for ACA purposes.

I think Medicaid would analyze your savings and other stuff. You might only be able to have like $1,500 in savings but I am not familiar with that program.

Chippewa

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2018, 08:24:45 AM »
ESI Money has a good article about healthcare options wen heading into retirement https://esimoney.com/picking-right-early-retirement-health-insurance-reviewing-options/

DreamFIRE

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2018, 05:56:41 PM »
Medicaid expansion doesn't have an asset test for eligibility.  Traditional Medicaid is a different story.

DreamFIRE

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2018, 05:59:07 PM »
ESI Money has a good article about healthcare options wen heading into retirement https://esimoney.com/picking-right-early-retirement-health-insurance-reviewing-options/

Not that good vs. what you can find on this forum.  It doesn't even mention the Medicaid expansion.

Acastus

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 02:04:28 PM »
Some states, like NY where I live, have extra expanded plans for low incomes. Here we have a plan that covers everyone below 200% poverty for low or no cost premiums. I believe this is one of the state experiments that the ACA grants by petition.

frugaldrummer

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Re: 2019: Better to be on Obamacare or Medicaid if FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 12:15:40 AM »
Also consider what plans you can get. In my city, which has several large HMOs, none of the good ones are available through Medicaid. You can only get Kaiser if you were already a Kaiser patient before, and even that requires a special enrollment form that they make it hard to find out about. Otherwise you're stuck with an HMO that basically only services poor communities.