Texas Medicaid Buy-In Program available 9/1/06

Beginning September 1, 2006, the well talked about Medicaid Buy-In Program will be available statewide in Texas. Authorized by Senate Bill 566, 79th Legislature and housed in the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Office of Family Services, this program will allow eligible Texans with disabilities the opportunity to purchase their health insurance through Medicaid by paying a monthly premium (based on earned and unearned income). Program participants will receive services either through traditional Medicaid (fee-for-service) or the Primary Care Case Management (PCCM) program (based on residency). 

Applicants must meet the following work and disability related requirements as well as resource and income limits: 

Work Requirement 
Must have enough earnings and FICA contributions in a calendar quarter for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to count as a qualifying quarter (currently, $970/quarter). 

Disability Requirement
Disability requirements are automatically met for applicants who receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If not, the HHSC's Disability Determination Unit will process applicants' information using Supplemental Security Income (SSI) criteria without consideration of earned income. 

Resource Limit 
Must have $2000 or less in countable resources. Certain resources will be excluded from the person's countable resources. 

Income Limit
Must have monthly income under 250% of the federal poverty level. For an individual, income of less than $2042 a month. Certain income will be excluded when determining income eligibility. 

The Medicaid Buy-In Program is expected to help relieve the fears of many people with disabilities who desire to return to work or maintain employment, but are concerned about losing health coverage as income levels rise. 

For additional information, refer to the following link to: 

Medicaid Buy-In Program Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/Medicaid/Buy_In_QNA.html.