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When does federal health insurance begin?

Hand writing FAQ on chalkboard
A brief overview...
  • You need to qualify for Medicaid. This means qualifying for the government health insurance available if you or your household are in a lower income bracket
  • Your children may get coverage under CHIP. This mean getting the government’s health insurance plan for your children
  • You need to qualify for Medicare. This means getting the health insurance from the federal government if you are over 65 years old or if you have a certain condition like a disability

If you’re wondering about how to get health insurance from the federal government, you might be wondering how do you qualify. And if you qualify when does coverage start? Read on to find out what federal health insurance you might be eligible for.

When you’re done, enter your zip in our free search tool to explore the most affordable private health insurance options in your state!

Medicaid Qualifications

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Medicaid is the federal health insurance program that managed by the individual states. Medicaid is for those who have lower incomes, pregnant women, children, families, people with disabilities, and the elderly.

Depending on your household income, you can either get Medicaid at a low-cost or no cost at all. Also, other factors, such as household size and disabilities, can affect whether you can get Medicaid at a low-cost or no cost at all.

Your coverage will start either on the day of the application or the first day of the month of the application. If you and your household qualifies, then you and your household’s benefits will be covered up to 3 months retroactively from the date of the accepted application.

For more information about Medicaid, please check Medicaid.gov.

Your Children May Receive CHIP Coverage

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Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is the government health insurance you can get for your children. Depending on your income, you will either pay for a low-cost plan or have no charge at all. If you do need to pay monthly premiums, the cost won’t exceed more than 5 percent of your family’s yearly income.

CHIP covers the following:

  • Routine check-ups
  • Immunizations
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental and vision care
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Emergency services

Some states’ CHIP program might offer more than this list. Check your state’s CHIP details here.

Also, each state has their own rules of who qualifies for CHIP. Check your state’s health agency for details on eligibility.

Since CHIP is a part of Medicaid, your coverage will start either on the day of the application or the first day of the month of the application. Your and your household’s benefits will also be covered up to 3 months retroactively from the date of the accepted application.

There are two ways to apply for CHIP. You can call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). You can also fill out an application through your state’s health insurance marketplace.

For more information about CHIP, please check Medicaid.gov.

Medicare Qualifications

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Medicare is the government insurance for those 65 years and older. But Medicare can be available to those under 65 if you have certain disabilities and if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). There are some parts of Medicare you would need to know:

  • Part A
  • Part B
  • Part C
  • Part D

Part A is hospital insurance. This covers services such as nursing facilities, inpatient hospital care, critical access hospitals, and some home health care. Typically, you do not pay for this service because it has been paid for already through payroll taxes.

Part B is medical insurance. This covers services such as outpatient care, doctor visits, occupational therapy, and some home health care. It also covers for service that Part A doesn’t cover.

Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. You sign up with a private insurance company with Medicare to provide you a health plan. This part includes the services that covered in Part A and B.

Part D is prescription drug coverage. You can either get coverage from the Medicare program or from a private insurance company. Typically, you pay a monthly premium for this part of Medicare.

Coverage starts on the first day of your birth month. So, if your 65th birthday is on May 14th, then your coverage will start on May 1st.

If you have a disability, you get Medicare Parts A and B automatically after you get Disability Benefits from Social Security or certain Disability benefits from RRB for 24 months.

If you have ESRD, then your coverage will usually start the first day of the fourth month you began your dialysis treatments.

For more information about Medicare, go to Medicare.gov.

Knowing this information should help clear up when your federal health insurance coverage starts. So that way, it will give you a peace of mind of knowing when you’re covered.

Not sure whether you want federal or private insurance? Weigh all your options by entering your zip below and comparing the best health insurance costs in your state!

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