Income too low for exchange, where to go next

I am 66 years old, living with my son in Florida.  I have $8,500 a year in income from a pension in my home country.  I do not qualify for the insurance marketplace or Medicare, because I never worked in this country.  What can I do for insurance?

CB in the Sunshine State

Dear CB,

You mention that you cannot apply for health insurance at the Marketplace, but you do not say why. That will make a difference in what your options are.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you do not qualify for the marketplace subsidies.  You also would not qualify for Medicaid except for medical emergencies.  To help pay your medical bills in the U.S., you might want to go to the local hospital and apply for their financial assistance program.  Their program may or may not be open to non-citizens, but it’s worth asking.  Many hospitals own physician practices, where you could get care.  You can look for other free or reduced cost programs at Needy Meds.

If you are a U.S. citizen, then you would qualify for Medicaid in Florida.  You would not qualify for Marketplace coverage, since your income is lower than 100% of Federal Poverty.  You can apply online for Florida Medicaid.


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.