Among other things that are essential to man and need maximum attention is our health. It is worthy of note that the cost of medicals is steadily increasing every year which makes it difficult for most people to cope with. This article is focused on Medicaid and whether it is available for felons to benefit from. As you go through this write-up, all the necessary information you need to know about felons and Medicaid will be revealed to you.
In the U.S., the majority of the people rely on Medicaid to keep up with their health. Like I said earlier, medical bill is on the increase yearly, which makes it difficult for people to cope with healthcare. The only means out is to seek medical assistance. Now, our focus question is, can felons benefit from Medicaid? This and more shall be covered as we move forward.
Is the Medicaid Scheme Available for Felons?
As a felon, you are qualified to apply for Medicaid program if you’ve been freed from the jail and have completed your prison time. To get a full understanding how the scheme work, it is essential that you have little knowledge of the Medicaid program itself. Children Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) and Medicaid are the two medical plans that offer free or low-cost health services to the citizens of Americans resident in the States. The class of people to enjoy this health benefit include pregnant women, low-income earners, the elderly, children and folks with disabilities. Depending on your state of residence, there may be a slight difference in the Medicaid program in term of the income that is accepted as low.
In case the state where you live has not expanded the Medicaid plan and you do not qualify for it based on your financial status alone, don’t be discouraged to apply for it. Each state offers an alternative coverage that may be favorable to your circumstance, especially if you’re currently suffering from any disabilities or a pregnant mom or are parents that are catering for younger kids.
Read Also: Can a felon lose parental rights?
Checking for Medicaid Eligibility
There is no limited enrollment period for the CHIP or Medicaid programs. Therefore, if you meet the criteria for any of the health programs, coverage can begin immediately, and at any period of the year.
How to know if you are eligible for the Medicaid Scheme
You will have to check for your eligibility before you apply for Medicaid. For more details on how to know whether you qualify or not, you can visit HealthCare.gov website. Your eligibility status is dependent on the state’s rules in which you reside and things like your age, family status (if you have younger kids to care for), income, disabilities, household size and other similar requirements.
Because there is variation in the states and family situations, it will be somewhat difficult to know if you are qualified or not. So you must first apply for the health plan.
Health Care Service Terms for the Imprisoned
Based on what we have on HealthCare.gov, there are some special terms for medical care coverage that apply to the incarcerated or folks still serving under a prison. The marketplace defines “incarcerated” as serving a prison or jail term. This definition doesn’t extend to staying at home or under facility supervision of the criminal justice or law enforcement.
Therefore, the marketplace doesn’t include home confinement, parole or probation when defining incarceration. When under incarceration, you can’t use the marketplace to buy private health service insurance. But as soon as you are set free, you will get back the rights.
How to Apply for Medicaid as a Felon
- When is it allowed to sign up for the private insurance in jail or prison?
As soon as you are freed from jail, you can apply for the private health cover. Your application can get you qualified for a low monthly premium and unnecessary expenses. Also, the health coverage you get will be dependent on how large your household is and your income.
If you’ve not been under any conviction for a crime at all but are imprisoned and the report on your disposition of charge is pending, you are free to sign up and purchase private health care coverage in the meantime.
- Apply for Medicaid scheme while you’re still in prison or jail
However, if you are incarcerated, whether being convicted or not, you are free to apply for your state of residence’s Medicaid program. You just cannot get medical aid, if you’ve been convicted, making use of the health coverage while still being confined. Nonetheless, it’s still a welcoming idea to apply for Medicaid while still incarcerated. This will facilitate your medical care once you come out of the prison.
Steps to apply for Medicaid
There are three options available if you want to apply for Medicaid.
- The online platform. You can apply online by visiting the HealthCare.gov website or sign up at your state of residence marketplace website.
- Paper application. There is a paper application form you can also fill and send it through the mail to Medicaid office.
- Visit the office. If you are not okay with the two steps above, you can walk down to the Medicaid center around your area to sign up for the program.
The basic information that is contained in the Medicaid application form
Before you fill out the application form, there is some information you need to have on hand to avoid any form of delay:
- All information pertaining to your family – including all the addresses of members of your family who need the health coverage.
- Include the social security number of each family member on the scheme
- An estimate of your income in the coming year
- Details of income for each family member in the form of wage or pay stubs and Tax statements (W-2 forms)
- Policy number of health insurance that covers members of your family.
Make sure you fill your application correctly
When filling your application and you find something that’s not too clear to you, talk to a Medicaid representative in your area. This will help you from making any mistake when filling the form. Remember, the essence of the whole thing is to get medical assistance. So take your time and fill the form correctly to avoid being left out.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.