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Qualifying for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program Coverage*
The Affordable Care Act creates a national Medicaid minimum eligibility level of 133% of the federal poverty level ($34,248 for a family of four in 2020) for nearly all Americans under age 65.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are combined state-federal programs for some people with limited incomes or disabilities.
You may qualify for free or low-cost care through Medicaid based on income and family size. You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP coverage at any time by applying directly to your state agency. If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, your coverage can begin immediately.
You can apply for and enroll in Medicaid or CHIP any time of year.
There’s no limited enrollment period for either Medicaid or CHIP. If you qualify, your coverage can begin immediately. If you have Medicaid coverage, you’re considered covered under the health care law and don’t have to buy a Marketplace plan.
Medicaid coverage and expansion
California is expanding its Medicaid program to cover households with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. That works out to $16,105 a year for 1 person or $32,913 for a family of 4.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
In many cases, if you qualify for Medicaid your children will qualify for either Medicaid or CHIP. CHIP may also provide coverage for children whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
Find out if you’re eligible for Medicaid
Even if you were told you didn’t qualify for Medicaid in the past, you may qualify under the new rules. You can see if you qualify for Medicaid in two ways:
- Visit your state’s Medicaid website. You can apply right now and find out if you qualify. If you qualify, coverage can begin immediately.
- Fill out an application in the Health Insurance Marketplace. If it looks like anyone is eligible for Medicaid and/or CHIP, the state agency will be notified so you can enroll.