Public insurance

With public insurance, the government helps pay for your health care. There are three main public insurance programs:

  • Medicare is generally for people 65 and older and those with disabilities.
  • Medicaid is for people who don't make much money or who are disabled.
  • CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) is for children from low-income families.

Depending on the state where you live, you may qualify for public insurance even if you did not in the past. That’s because the Affordable Care Act allows states to expand their Medicaid programs. In states that that have chosen to do so, the income limit used to decide who is eligible has increased, especially for adults without children who previously did not qualify for Medicaid in most states.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sarah Goodell on June 21, 2021
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