Of all the types of burdensome expenses Americans face on a monthly basis, healthcare expenses can oftentimes be a headache for tax-paying citizens in the U.S., because healthcare in the United States is incredibly expensive.
In fact, healthcare and medical expenses can even rival housing costs and rent for how much of your paycheck you must dedicate to paying bills, depending on your health and medical situation. Thankfully, there are both federal and state government programs that are available to help cover the medical expenses of qualified individuals in America, as well as families of all ages.
Government-sponsored healthcare programs were more limited before the 2010 Affordable Care Act, or the ACA, that was passed by President Obama. The ACA brought sweeping changes across the entire healthcare system in America, making healthcare more affordable and more accessible to millions of Americans.
The amount that healthcare costs and the type of healthcare assistance that you might qualify for through the Affordable Care Act is largely dependent on two factors: the number of people in your household and your household income.
As of 2023, individuals earning $13,590-$54,360 are eligible to apply for a healthcare subsidy. Families and households having four members with a collective household ranging from $27,750-$111,000 are also eligible to apply for various healthcare subsidies.
The American Rescue Plan suspended the income limitations for these programs through 2025 due to pandemic-related and other increased healthcare demands.
Medicaid and Medicare are two main federally-sponsored health insurance plans for qualified Americans today. Medicare is divided into four major plans, each covering specific medical needs, services, and expenses.
Part A includes inpatient hospitalizations and limited home care services. Part B includes outpatient hospital services and doctor or physician visits.
Part C, also referred to as Medicare Advantage, combines benefits for parts A and B with additional coverage features. Part D is dedicated to prescription medication costs. Certain Medicare coverage is automatically granted to people ages sixty-five and older. Medicaid is available to individuals and households with qualified low income or serious disabilities. Essentially, Medicare is based on age, whereas Medicaid is based on financial need.
Government programs are also available to provide healthcare to qualified children. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a branch of Medicaid services, which provides coverage for certain medical needs and services for minor children. To guarantee U.S. children receive the healthcare coverage they need, qualifications for CHIP are not dependent on recipients or their parents also qualifying for Medicaid. Government grants for individuals serving in (or veterans of) the U.S. military are also funded today. Keep reading ahead to find out more.