Qualification is based on income and family size. If you are eligible, you get low-cost or no-cost healthcare.
Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people will disabilities. Medicaid programs must follow federal guidelines, but can vary based on the state that you live in.
Medicaid Expansion under the new Health Reform law:
The Health Reform law expanded Medicaid to include more people starting in 2014. Before ACA, the income qualification was 100% Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but now it is up to 138% FPL.
But again, Medicaid varies by state, and not every state chose to expand the program. If you're state didn't expand Medicaid, and you would have qualified, you can enroll in a low-cost private plan instead with monthly premiums as low as $1.
Keep in mind, not all states offer Medcaid to all those who might qualify based on income. For example, some states do not offer Medicaid to young adults who are not pregnant or who have not recently given birth.
The best thing to do is visit Medicaid.gov to see if you qualify.
Reduced Premiums and Out-of-Pocket Expenses through the Exchange:
If you can't get coverage through Medicaid, you might qualify for lower premiums or lower out-of-pocket expenses when you enroll in a health plan through AHIPE. What you pay for your health insurance plan is based on your family size and household income to make sure it's affordable for you. You can only qualify for subsidized plans if you don't have access to affordable job-based coverage (either through your job, your spouse/partner's, or your parent's if you are under 26).