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What Native Americans Should Know About Health Insurance Post ACA

What Native Americans Should Know About Health Insurance Post ACA


 Health Insurance Benefits for Native Americans


Springfield, Missouri, being close to multiple Oklahoma American Indian reservations, is home to many people of native or partial native descent. Those who are officially part of a tribe may be able to receive health insurance benefits they weren’t previously entitled to under the Affordable Care Act, and may be eligible for an exemption from the fee charged to the uninsured under the same act. It is important for everyone to understand how the Affordable Care Act affects them individually and their health insurance in Springfield, MO.


Medicaid and CHIP


While Missouri did not expand Medicaid to include all low-income families, under the Affordable Care Act, those of American Indian or Alaskan Native descent may find it easier to be deemed eligible for Medicaid and CHIP.  Medicaid and CHIP may provide better or easier to acquire services than Indian Health Services.  Applying to Medicaid or CHIP is easy through the health insurance government marketplace.


Zero Cost Sharing Plans


Those who qualify based on their income and are a tribal member or those who hold share in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), are eligible to sign up for a zero cost sharing plan through the government healthcare marketplace. This means that tax credits are available to cover premiums, and the insured will not be responsible for paying copays, deductibles, or coinsurance.  These plans are available at all metal levels, though it is possible that tax credits won’t cover the entire cost of premiums of higher level health insurance plans.  Insured tribal members receive free healthcare from Indian Health Care providers and free essential services through the marketplace. Those on a zero cost sharing plan are not required to receive a referral from an Indian Health Care provider in order to receive essential health benefits from a marketplace provider.


Indian Health Coverage Exemption


The fee that American without insurance must pay on their federal taxes can be waived for tribal members and shareholders of the ANCSA.  To receive this health insurance exemption, those eligible must apply for fee exemption through the marketplace and claim the exemption on their federal income tax returns.


There is plenty to know about the Affordable Care Act.  Many are not aware of the benefits they are eligible for, Native American or not. It is important to learn what the Affordable Care Act means for you, and what health insurance benefits you are eligible for – whether you’re eligible for free health insurance through Medicaid, zero cost sharing plans through the marketplace, or premium tax credits to help with the cost of health insurance. Employee Benefit Design is happy to work with groups and individuals to find the best coverage available to them.


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