Disabled Workers May Be Able To Buy Into SoonerCare

As we mentioned on Monday, Medicare is a national type of health coverage for Americans 65 or older or for those who have been receiving SSDI benefits for at least two years. Medicaid is a different type of health coverage. Eligibility for Medicaid is similar to eligibility for SSI benefits in that both are means-tested – you have to fall below certain income and asset levels in order to qualify for Medicaid or SSI benefits.

We talked on Wednesday about how in many states your SSI application is the same one for Medicaid coverage. This is not the case in Oklahoma, however, or in a handful of other states where you have to apply for Medicaid coverage separately.

Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, which goes by the nickname “SoonerCare,” does offer an alternative for Sooners with disabilities – a Medicaid buy-in. These Medicaid buy-in programs, which other states offer as well, enable certain groups of people to buy into Medicaid even though they would not ordinarily qualify for Medicaid because their income is too high or because they have too many assets.

In Oklahoma, both disabled and non-disabled workers are able to buy into SoonerCare under certain conditions. For disabled workers, they can buy in as long as they earn below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. This coverage can be a lifeline for workers and their families who may not qualify for disability benefits or regular Medicaid coverage. For non-disabled workers, they can buy into SoonerCare if they are unemployed, self-employed or working for small businesses. They must also have an income less than 185 percent of the poverty line.

Has a disability prevented you from earning enough to support your family and provide healthcare coverage for them? Information on applying for SSI or SSDI benefits available from a Tulsa OK Social Security disability lawyer.


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