Healthcare is an incredibly costly, yet vital expense for individuals all around the world, especially because everyone faces medical problems at some point or another in their lifetime. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to afford those associated doctor’s bills, prescriptions, surgeries, and hospital stays, but those from lower-income homes may struggle to raise funds.
Fortunately, there are programs in place, like South Carolina’s Medicaid program, that assist qualifying low-income individuals with their healthcare expenses by providing quality medical coverage. Let’s take a closer look at what this program is before diving into eligibility and limitations concerning income and assets.
For more information on South Carolina’s Medicaid program or to receive a quote, contact Beckham Insurance Group today.
What is South Carolina Medicaid?
South Carolina’s version of Medicaid, known in-state as Healthy Connections, operates as the same Medicaid program most individuals are familiar with. Under the administration of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS), Healthy Connections works to provide healthcare coverage for low-income individuals.
This joint federal and state-funded program provides coverage for a wide range of groups including children, disabled persons, pregnant women, and senior residents that enables them to offset the expensive costs associated with medical care and specific non-medical services.
Who is Eligible?
Medicaid works diligently to provide as many low-income individuals with healthcare coverage as they can, but what income bracket classifies a person as low-income according to Medicaid? Well, there are several factors that can affect an individual’s eligibility, namely their income, and their assets. And within the income and asset limitations, there is no single set number that defines low-income limitations for all Medicaid coverage options. Rather, there are different income requirements for each medical service or treatment, and each of these varies further depending on the size of your household.
With eligibility limitations being as varied and subject to change as they are depending on an individual’s income, assets, or family situation, it’s important to understand just how income and assets are defined. To do that, let’s take a closer look at each and how it may affect an individual’s eligibility.
Income, as defined by Medicaid officials, refers broadly to all money an individual may receive. This includes, but may not be limited to, wages from a job, alimony payments, veteran’s benefits, pension payments, Social Security Disability Income, Social Security Income, IRA withdrawals, and stock dividends.
All of the income a person receives must fall within a set income bracket in order for them to qualify for coverage. If the individual is part of a married couple and both are applying for the same coverage option, then they must combine their total individual incomes together and submit that number when requesting aid. However, if only one spouse requires coverage, only their individual income needs to be reported.
For example, those individuals with a family size of one (1) qualify for working disabled aid if their monthly income does not exceed $2,832.00 and their annual income does not exceed $33,975.00. However, if the family size increases to two persons, the corresponding monthly and annual income limitations raise to $3,815.00 and $45,4775.00 respectively for combined income.
Owned assets that must be listed on Medicaid healthcare coverage applications are also relatively broad. They can include any number of countable assets held including cash, stocks, bonds, investments, credit union, savings, checking accounts, real estate, and much more.
There are certain assets, known as exempt or non-countable assets, that do not need to be included on these forms. Typically these include personal belongings, jewelry, household furnishings, a single vehicle, the individual’s primary residence, up to $1,500 per spouse in burial funds, and the cash value of held life insurance policies up to a value of $10,000.
Programs Specific to South Carolina Medicaid
South Carolina offers individuals many of the same Medicaid benefits they would receive in any other state. However, there are two programs on their roster that differ from those offered by other entities: the South Carolina Community Choices Waiver and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
South Carolina Community Choices Waiver
This waiver specifically works in favor of the elderly and disabled to aid in providing constant care for those who are no longer able to care for themselves but do not wish to take up residence in a nursing home. This waiver allows them to choose to remain in their own homes and instead provides assistance through home modifications, adult daycare, specialized medical equipment, and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
This program is an all-inclusive option for elderly individuals needing long-term care services. It extends to include all the main Medicaid benefits with additional options for vision and dental care.
Employee Benefits Made Easy
At Beckham Insurance Group, our knowledgeable and experienced employee benefits representatives are here to help make your benefits administration as easy and stress-free as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a competitive and comprehensive benefits program.