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The Medicaid/Welfare question (redux)

Discussion in 'Financial Aid' started by KaapstadMK, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. KaapstadMK

    KaapstadMK No turning back now - Too much debt

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    Married OMS2, currently expecting 1st child.

    Previously, wife worked, but currently unemployed to pursue schooling.

    Paid rent, utilities, internet in advance through next semester's payout; set aside money for car & personal loan payments; Unexpected car repairs, boards, and rebudgeting hiccups after my wife left her job took a sizeable chunk out; remainder has been insufficient to cover food/gas (Seriously, try putting together a total food budget of $40/wk for 2 people - it ain't easy or pleasant). Note that we do not ave wealthy families to help support us - we're all on our own

    Add to that, I recently aged out of my parents' health insurance.

    Question: With the coming baby, I'm wondering if student loans would disqualify us from medicaid/CHIP and/or SNAP/WIC.

    (Please don't start the flame war over the morality of a medical student using welfare. I've read the arguments repeatedly, but it's a distraction that ends up leaving the main question being answered. I used to be one of those that judged students for taking out welfare temporarily, especially if they were trying to live the high life. That is not the case here. As it stands, my wife [did I mention she's pregnant?] is contemplating going back to work part time just so we can have food and gas in a couple weeks' time)
     
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  3. RangerBob

    Physician 5+ Year Member

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    One of my classmates was on Medicaid/CHIP since he was married with two kids. I don't know if he and his wife were actually covered, or just the kids.

    I think your wife may qualify just because she's pregnant.

    If you got booted from your parent's insurance, that's a qualifying event (as is birth of child) to get on the school's plan, which may be much better insurance. That insurance is typically cheap, though it sounds like it could still be rough for you. You can also always ask your school for a budget increase--talk to your financial aid office.

    Having only $40/week for food for two is pretty ridiculous. If you genuinely need it, then go for WIC/food pantry/etc. These programs are meant for people who fall on hard times. If you are able to get more loans (or if your wife can with her schooling) then yes, it brings up an ethical question. But to my knowledge student loans are not considered income (though car dealerships will be happy to consider them income when you apply for a loan). I am not 100% sure on this, but I'm sure a quick google search would bring up the answer.

    I would meet with your schools financial aid officer pronto to discuss all options--I'm sure they've had plenty of students in the same situation. Stuff happens.
     
    KaapstadMK likes this.
  4. Ulgarmoose

    2+ Year Member

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    No, they would not disqualify you. Student loans are not income. I'm on medicaid and I have no kids. However students are not inherently eligible for SNAP while they are for medicaid. You need to meet one of several exceptions to qualify as a student. I am not eligible for SNAP because I do not work 20+ hours per week. Having a child is another way to get SNAP as a student so you should be eligible for an some amount of around $100/month once you're a parent.

    Didn't realize this was a month old, wew
     
    #3 Ulgarmoose, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  5. KaapstadMK

    KaapstadMK No turning back now - Too much debt

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    You're good.

    So, what I found out through the system:

    In my state, they don't usually give welfare to students. So, my wife is able to receive SNAP assistance (for 1) and Medicaid, because she's pregnant. I, however, am not until the baby is born. Weird rules, but hey.

    Incidentally, my school will accept medicaid, were I able to qualify...
     
  6. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    Your med school will almost certainly offer health insurance for you. They may allow you to add your family. It will be expensive. Your premium will be under cost of attendance; your family's might be under COA. Coverage might be better than Medicaid.

    Medicaid rules are heavily state dependent. 31 states expanded Medicaid so that low income adults (regardless of gender, employment or G's & P's) can get it. 19 did not.

    The day-by-day congressional noise over the repeal-and-go-f***-yourself plan to undo the ACA only matters when/if federal Medicaid funding is cut, which affects a future budget. In other words, if your state expanded Medicaid, get in while you can, if you can. Your income determination is based on prior year income, not future lack-of-income.

    Medicaid for pregnancy, in a state that didn't expand, ends for the mother 60 days after delivery. Kids are covered till 18 (pending the repeal-and-go-f***-your-children CHIP negotiations).

    Regardless of coverage, it's at least a part time job to manage referrals and claims if anybody actually gets sick.

    Best of luck to you.
     
    BorntobeDO? likes this.
  7. BorntobeDO?

    BorntobeDO? SDN Bronze Donor
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    The answer is no they don't, but some states give you more trouble than others. In fact, some states will even let you get the TAFNF (welfare) if you have a family. Most schools do not give you enough loans for a family at all, and many DO schools especially are located where both jobs and childcare are basically nonexistent. The loans they give are based on single students with roommates. I would feel zero guilt about using the programs. You will more than pay them back in a few short years.
     
  8. BorntobeDO?

    BorntobeDO? SDN Bronze Donor
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    Doesn't LUCOM not require medical insurance anyway?
     
  9. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things
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    Every school will require health insurance. Childcare costs are also an allowable increase in loan amounts so your spouse can go to work if money is tight
     
  10. abolt18

    abolt18 I regret nothing. The end.
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    My family and I qualified for WIC, foodstamps, and Medicaid for all of medical school (started with 1 kid and graduated with 3). This was in a very conservative state that did NOT expand Medicaid. Having medicaid for my entire family through school was amazing. Saved us a lot of money and an unbeatable amount of stress.

    I hate spending tons of money on insurance that I don't use (went to the doctor once in all 4 years of school) so that was a major win for me to just be covered.

    You will find the people doing all the paperwork in these systems suck at their jobs, they do not intercommunicate, and you'll call many times to straighten out the same thing over and over. But it was still worth it and still a huge help.
     
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  11. coocoo102

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