Obamacare and Medicaid expansion

How can you get your mother health insurance if she is not elderly or on Medicare?  She should be taking high blood pressure pills, but she doesn’t.  She gets dizzy and can’t see sometimes.  I’m worried but she says she is fine and doesn’t need any help.  Can I just buy her a health plan?  If I can, what are her options?

Taking Care of Mom

Dear Taking Care of Mom,

Her options depend where she lives. If she lives in a state that plans to offer Medicaid to low-income adults without minor children, and she is low-income, then she can get Medicaid in 2014.  This is part of the Affordable Care Act; it’s usually called the “Medicaid expansion”.  Check the Kaiser Family Foundation’s site for the list of states and their Medicaid expansion decision.

If she lives in a state that will not “expand” Medicaid or she has a higher income, then you could buy a plan for her. Until 2014, the plans and benefits available will vary by state. As of January 1, 2014, the insurers could not refuse her or charge her more based upon her health. The healthcare.gov website is a place to start to find what options are available in her state.

If you do buy a plan for her, your mother would have to agree to enroll and sign papers to enroll.  You could sign for her only if she gives you a power-of-attorney.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.