All over the country parents are finding out the hard way that they cannot insure their children on their health insurance policy if they qualify for a subsidy at Healthcare.gov. There is a reason why and it pertains to decisions made long before the ACA (Obamacare) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. To understand why you can not insure your children on your subsidized plan we must understand the actions that took place long before the ACA ever became law. Let’s look at the actions taken prior to the passage of the ACA in two states, Illinois and Indiana.
Let’s say you are a family of five and you have 3 children. Because Illinois has a program called “All Kids Covered” which was initially funded under the federal SCHIP bill and is an expansion of Medicaid you will have a big problem enrolling your children at HealthCare.gov on your policy. Under “All KidsCovered” a family of five can make $82,710 a year and their children will qualify for coverage under “All Kids Covered” which then makes their children ineligible to receive a subsidy via Healthcare.gov
Indiana’s “Healthy Indiana” plan states that children from a family of five making less than $27,910 can qualify for Healthy Indiana coverage. Since your children can qualify for coverage under “Healthy Indiana”, Healthcare.gov is not allowing them to receive subsidized health insurance via Healthcare.gov. Healthcare.gov is instead kicking them to other programs established prior to Obamacare like Healthy Indiana or other offshoots of Medicaid.
So this is why HealthCare.gov is not allowing parents to enroll their kids on their subsidized health plans. Parents now are faced with three options, neither one ideal:
1.) Pay full price for your children and only get a subsidy for you and your spouse which means you will have to complete 2 separate applications. One application seeking a subsidy for you and your spouse and one application off the exchange paying full price with no subsidy for your children. This is the strategy we recommend pursuing because Medicaid should only be used as a last resort. Medicaid is a severely underfunded program which routinely denies recipients the care that they need. Medicaid pays physicians and hospitals far less than what they are paid via private health insurance so your access to quality medical care is greatly reduced with Medicaid.
2.) Decline the subsidy for the entire family (even though you qualify) and pay full price for coverage off the exchange.
3.) Enroll your children on “AllKidsCovered” (Medicaid) and then enroll you and your spouse on a subsidized plan via Healthcare.gov.
Sadly, this isn’t just the case in Illinois and Indiana. It is also happening all over the country. If you are facing this situation and can afford to insure your children separately on their own private health insurance policy off the exchange we highly recommend doing so. If you need help applying for coverage either on or off the exchange or have any additional questions on this highly recommended strategy please contact us at either of the numbers at the top of your screen.