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Working and Medicaid

Medicaid is healthcare coverage for needy, low-income people, families, the elderly, and disabled adults. Generally, it is an, as needed, income-based, benefit. Guidelines vary from state to state.

Applying for Medicaid

I applied for Medicaid when I lost my healthcare coverage through my employer due to my inability to return to work after my stroke. My income had changed drastically. I needed healthcare coverage. My Medicaid application was denied, but I qualified for an income-based, State of Colorado Health Insurance Marketplace plan with a premium tax credit (PTC).

What’s a premium tax credit?

The IRS defines PTC as a refundable tax credit designed to help eligible individuals and families with low or moderate incomes afford health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.1 The size of the premium tax credit is based on a sliding scale. Those who have a lower income get a larger credit to help cover the cost of their insurance.

Healthcare coverage or extra cash?

Who doesn’t want a little extra money in their pocket? Because of my plan’s income restrictions and the need for the premium tax credit, I have been very careful monitoring my extra income opportunities. Before the income-based insurance coverage, I participated in as many online and in-person surveys and patient panels as possible. These opportunities occasionally pay a flat fee, stipend, or honorarium. I consider these situations more volunteer-based. The government considers it income. When every penny earned counts against your premium tax credit, you choose healthcare coverage over extra cash.

The in-person events have been very special to me. They have given me several opportunities to meet and spend quality time with other lung cancer patient advocates from around the country while sharing my story and opinions with Pharma and different medical industry organizations. They use patient influence and input for different things like future advertising and developing patient support programs. I have been avoiding these opportunities since enrolling in my current health coverage because of the income guidelines and limits set by my current healthcare plan.

I continue to make improvements in my stroke recovery. I am enjoying my time at home with my dog. But I miss going to a job. I also miss the occasional travel and trips to participate in lung cancer patient advisory boards, seeing old friends and making new ones.

Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities

I recently learned about Colorado’s Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities. The program is also available in other states. It allows disabled working adults the opportunity to pay a monthly premium and enroll in a Medicaid program. I thought I may qualify under the guidelines I found online. I’m between the ages of 18 and 64. I have a Social Security Administration qualifying disability. I am employed. I’m currently not going to an office every day. Writing articles for is my part-time job.

I’m very excited about the possibilities of getting another part-time job in my town, working 10-20 hours a week, paying a smaller monthly healthcare premium and saving on medical co-pays and doctor visits. I am now in the buy-in program application process.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Questions and Answers on the Premium Tax Credit. IRS. Accessed on August 18, 2019. From:


  • Lisa Moran moderator author
    3 months ago

    Update: My application process is complete. I was approved for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) at the beginning of Sept 2019.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    2 months ago

    Congrats Lisa!! Thank you for sharing this process and educating those who may be in the same situation. I wish we didn’t have to worry about these types of things like “how will I pay for my coverage” but that seems to be where we’re at for so many patients. The very best in the best of care!

  • Alisa moderator
    3 months ago

    That’s great news, Lisa!!!

  • Jennifer M. Toth moderator
    3 months ago

    Lisa, are you on SSI? I was wondering if you qualify for Medicare?

  • Lisa Moran moderator author
    3 months ago

    I’m on SSDI and won’t qualify for Medicare until May 2020.

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