For those without health insurance and who are in need of it, the U.S. government can provide aid. However, becoming qualified is the hardest part of getting government health insurance. According to the Washington Policy Watch, almost half of the U.S. population has government health insurance of some kind.
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There are three main types of public health insurance companies that people can qualify for. They are the following: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program,which is better known as CHIP.
Medicare Government Health Insurance
The U.S. government established Medicare to provide a senior health insurance program for those who are 65 and older. There are some that qualify for Medicare that are younger than 65, but they only qualify if they are permanently disabled, have a congenital physical disability or who are considered part of the End Stage Renal Disease Program.
Since Medicare has been established there have been huge improvements in the elderly population’s health care. Before, more than 50 percent of those 65 and older had health insurance and 30 percent of senior citizens lived below the poverty line. When it comes to determining eligibility for Medicare, the Social Security Administration arm of the government takes care of that. They implement the Medicare program and process the payments of Medicare to those who qualify.
Medicare is made possible by taxing employees. The total amount taxed to an individual worker is 2.9 percent, which half is paid by the employee and the other half is paid by the employer. The tax is taken out of a person’s wages, bonuses, and salaries. Those who are self employed must pay the entire amount of tax. The up side to this is that they may deduct half of 2.9 percent when calculating their income tax.
Medicaid Government Health Insurance
According to the Medicaid website, almost 60 million U.S. citizens qualify for both Medicaid and CHIP. Those who qualify for Medicaid are living in a low income household. The program is funded by both the federal government and the state government.
Medicaid is used by U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and includes low income children, adults, and individuals with certain types of disabilities. While poverty is a good indication that someone will need Medicaid there are those who have limited income that qualify as well.
Some who qualify for Medicaid also qualify for dental health insurance services. These services are minimum and can include restoration of teeth, maintenance of teeth and pain relief. Preventative treatment and diagnostic is also provided for those who seek it out.
Depending on the state, there are Medicaid programs that operate under the Health Insurance Premium Program or HIPP. This allows recipients to use private health insurance, but it is all paid for by the Medicaid program. There are not many states that have this program even though interest has remained high.
CHIP Government Health Insurance
According to the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program website, all families can qualify for their children to be covered by the CHIP program. Children who qualify are under the age of 19, are citizens of the U.S. or permanent legal residents, are not insured, and are unable to receive medical assistance through Medicaid. Those families who average a household income of $44,000 a year cannot receive Medicaid.
There are several benefits to being insured with CHIP. These benefits can include checkups and yearly visits, immunizations, dental services, vision and hearing services, emergency room services, hospitalization, substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation therapies and even maternal care.
Not all families, but most families do receive free coverage with CHIP eligibility. The other children or teenagers can get the same benefits, but the family will have to pay some associated costs which are determined on a sliding scale. The amount that needs to be paid out of pocket depends on the household yearly income and the number of people in the household.
There are no premiums or copayments for those who qualify for a free CHIP program. Those who have full cost CHIP programs also participate in a discounted premium and copayment amount for CHIP. Those households who earn more than $67,000 per year may have to pay for full coverage of CHIP, but the rates are much more reasonable than independent health insurance.
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