Obamacare: health insurance still costs too much

I am 59 years old.  My husband gets Social Security Disability and Veterans pay but I do not work or file taxes.  How much do I have to pay for health insurance?   I was told by one insurer that it would cost me $800 a month! I do not know how that is possible with a disabled husband.

North Carolina Peach

 Dear North Carolina Peach,

If your household income is less than $15,510 a year, then you are under 100% of Federal Poverty and do not qualify for any subsidies to buy health insurance.  North Carolina is not “expanding” Medicaid to include these low-income households.  It sets up a bit of a strange situation – you are considered too poor to qualify for subsidies and you are not offered Medicaid.

That is why the insurer gave you the undiscounted cost per month for your insurance.  Obviously, $800 is more than you can afford on a limited income.  You will not be charged the penalty for being uninsured, in any case.

In order to get medical services without insurance, you can explore free and sliding scale clinics.  NeedyMeds has a directory of these, or you can ask your doctor’s office for a referral.  Your local hospital will have programs to give free or discounted care also.  Call them or visit them and ask for their patient assistance office.

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.