Author Topic: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married  (Read 799 times)

RumBurgundy

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Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« on: May 29, 2021, 01:04:02 PM »
I suspect there's no ideal option for me here but wanted to check in here to see if there's something I'm not thinking of.

I retired early and I manage my income (primarily capital gains and dividends) to maintain an income low enough to qualify for Medicaid. My partner is a good bit younger than me, subscribes to similar life goals as me regarding having high income/savings during her 30s and then "retiring" to a point where she can also rely on passive income and then pursue labors of love like I currently do. Her income is in the low 6 figures, so obviously, she doesn't use ACA insurance plans. We are moving in the direction of formalizing our relationship by getting legally married but one big concern for me is the loss of my Medicaid income qualification. I'm guessing that even if we married and filed separately that there is no way that our incomes would be considered separate households once married.

While I am in relatively good health and relatively young, I do have a therapist that is completely paid for through Medicaid so if I were to no longer qualify for the program, the value lost would be significantly more than just premiums for an individual health care plan.
Curious if anyone else has run into this and found a solution?  

cangelosibrown

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Re: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2021, 01:45:44 PM »
I know this sounds cold, and there's obviously more to the decision than this, but it's worth considering the total financial impact of getting married legally vs getting married in some spiritual, non legal sense.  You'd almost certainly lower the total taxes paid by the two of you. Look into her insurance (assuming it's from work) and how much it would cost compared to what you're paying now. There may be other benefits from her work you would be eligible for if married. With not too much research you ought to be able to come up with a dollar figure. May help inform your decision.

RumBurgundy

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Re: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2021, 02:18:37 PM »
Look into her insurance (assuming it's from work) and how much it would cost compared to what you're paying now. There may be other benefits from her work you would be eligible for if married.

Unfortunately no on both counts. She runs her own business so she's not on an employee sponsored plan.

cangelosibrown

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Re: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2021, 02:28:03 PM »
Look into her insurance (assuming it's from work) and how much it would cost compared to what you're paying now. There may be other benefits from her work you would be eligible for if married.

Unfortunately no on both counts. She runs her own business so she's not on an employee sponsored plan.

Too bad. So you'll have to compare  the added cost of whatever an ACA or whatever plan would be (plus added health costs compared to Medicaid) vs the tax savings from being married. I am married and am happy with that, but if it cost me much money, I'd be happy to not get married legally. You can still call her your wife, and not change anything. Heck, you can even have a wedding, just not send in any paperwork afterwards. Obviously many people feel differently about that though...

Dee_

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Re: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2021, 04:16:26 PM »
Crunch the numbers and see what makes financial sense. If you do decide not to get legally married, make sure to see an attorney and have them draw up an ironclad medical POA and will/living trust.

former player

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Re: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2021, 12:22:56 AM »
You have just come up against one of the reasons people on low incomes don't get married: it means less support from government programs, or at least makes them more difficult to access.

Of course, unmarried status is then used to denigrate people who are poor.

RumBurgundy

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Re: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2021, 01:11:05 AM »
You have just come up against one of the reasons people on low incomes don't get married: it means less support from government programs, or at least makes them more difficult to access.

Of course, unmarried status is then used to denigrate people who are poor.

It's insane that I'm just now realizing that. Very true.

spartana

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Re: Strategy to keep from losing Medicaid once married
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2021, 12:27:03 PM »
I will add to the don't get married crowd if you want to stay on Medicaid or have a lower ACA Premium subsidy as I don't think there is any way to work around this. My SO is FIREd and uses the ACA and I (also Fired) use the VA but my taxable income is low enough to qualify for Medicaid. If we married or legally became a "household" my VA medical benefits wouldn't change (but I would lose Medicaid or ACA subsidies if I was on it)  but his ACA subsidies would be greatly reduced. We had no plans to get married or combine finances anyway but it is something we looked into when deciding to live together and possibly buy a place together.