Most people associate Medicaid with the elderly and disabled, but a growing number of Millennials are signing up for the subsidized health care.
Medicaid was originally enacted in 1965 to primarily help the elderly, disabled and low income children, but under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care, roughly 90 percent of all uninsured Millennials qualify for Medicaid, even though they don’t know it.
This little known health care subsidy is particularly helpful to Millennial caregivers who delay college or limit their work to provide fulltime care for their loved ones.
Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average home caregiver brings in roughly $20 thousand dollars a year, while the average health insurance premium for a Millennial is $486 per month or $5832 a year, according to ADP Research Group. That’s close to 30 percent of their entire take-home revenue going to health care, and that’s before taxes. But under Medicaid, that health care monthly cost can drop to roughly $250/month for Millennials.
The statistics for uninsured Millennials suggests this generation between the ages of 18-34 doesn’t know about this alternative health insurance option.
Roughly 20 percent of all Millennials in New York are uninsured, according to research by our organization, Medicaid Advisory Group. In New York State, 38 percent of all Millennials are already on Medicaid.
But many people still have misconceptions on what Medicaid covers and who is eligible.
A recent survey by Medicaid Advisory Group discovered roughly 1 in 3 New Yorkers wrongly believes that Medicaid retirement funds or savings disqualifies you from Medicaid. That’s actually not true. Retirement funds and savings are exempt from Medicaid when determining a person’s eligibility.
Medicaid Advisory Group advocates on behalf of patients and families who are trying to get Medicaid assistance, but are denied. We frequently hear from families that they are denied from Medicaid, even though they should qualify for this subsidy. There is so much confusion with Medicaid that unfortunately even government case workers don’t know who is eligible and who is not.
The government doesn’t keep track of the national number of Millennials who are on Medicaid, but a cross reference of income, Census data and uninsured people between the ages of 18-34 suggests roughly 22 percent of the US Millennial population doesn’t have health insurance and it’s higher for minorities. About 36 percent of Hispanic Millennials lack health insurance while 27 percent of black Americans don’t have health insurance.
To qualify for Medicaid is truly an individual assessment, but there are some guidelines for Millennial caregivers who have lower income and no health care.
Medicaid coverage varies state-by-state, but the average yearly salary to qualify for Medicaid is $16,243 – so anyone making below this amount annually can generally qualify for coverage. If you are a full time millennial caregiver, you most likely fall into this income group.
You can also find more details on who qualifies for Medicaid, along with a calculator that can help you determine if you are eligible on our website.
By Ginalisa Monterroso, CEO of Medicaid Advisory Group