Should I stay on Medicaid?
November 22, 2022 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I’m a tech worker who got laid off this summer, was pregnant, and went on Medicaid since I had no income. Now I’m starting a new job and they offer health insurance (although it ain’t free). Should I stay on Medicaid or leave Medicaid and take the new insurance?

I’m in NJ and if your income rises past the Medicaid eligibility threshold, you stay on Medicaid for 24 months. I’m going to report my income obviously but not sure if it’s worth moving off of Medicaid onto private insurance. Thoughts? Note im the sole income provider for a family of 5.
posted by MisantropicPainforest to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
 
It seems like more info would be needed to answer this question. What is the cost of the company's health insurance? How do the benefits compare to Medicaid? What are the costs of using the company plan vs using Medicaid?
posted by Tandem Affinity at 2:27 PM on November 22


Response by poster: Covering the whole family is about 500 a month. Medicaid is free. Medicaid is excellent in terms of what it pays for (literally everything) but means you’re less likely to be accepted everywhere.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:29 PM on November 22


Stay on Medicaid, unless you've had serious problems accessing health care with it. Even then, there's no guarantee that the expensive health insurance provides better coverage. I've had both over the years, I had Medicaid when my kids were young and I loved that I never had to worry about the cost of taking them to the doctor, no parent should.
posted by mareli at 2:32 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


You may be able to do both. I'm on my company's health insurance plan and Medicaid due to the ongoing COVID emergency even though I'm well over the income threshold for Medicaid--my state (Iowa) isn't kicking anyone off Medicaid until the COVID emergency is over, so my employer insurance is primary and Medicaid is my secondary. I strongly recommend this route if you can do it, as it may get you in doors only private insurance will open, but keep copays and prescription costs at or near zero no matter what your private insurance says.
posted by epj at 2:33 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Assuming you already have primary care doctors (and specialists you need for anything ongoing) you like who take Medicaid: stay on Medicaid, save the money you would be putting towards premiums, and if Medicaid has poor or no dental coverage in NJ, see if you can get just dental coverage from your new job (if it's good coverage.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:06 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


If you meet the eligibility guidelines for Medicaid, you can keep it as secondary insurance. If you got to a provider that's covered by both your employer's plan as well as Medicaid, then Medicaid may pay for whatever your employer's plan doesn't pay for -- Medicaid is always billed as "payer of last resort", so it gets billed last. And likewise, if you see a provider that's not covered by your employer's insurance but is by Medicaid, then Medicaid would be billed and the expense would not be completely out-of-network for you.
posted by Theiform at 7:34 PM on November 22


Keep Medicaid as whatever you can (primary or secondary) for as long as possible - like mentioned above, it's a great protection against large out-of-pocket costs.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:54 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


If you can keep Medicaid legally then do so. Medicaid makes everything free! However in Oregon at least they don’t cover dental or vision.
posted by bendy at 10:06 PM on November 26


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