Health Care Work Incentives

If you get health care benefits like Medicare or Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) coverage, there are also incentives that make sure you continue to have good health coverage after you get a job.

Medicare

Many people with disabilities get Medicare health coverage, usually because they also get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If your income goes up while you’re on SSDI, your benefits can go down, though the work incentives described earlier in this article can help you to gradually try out working without fear of suddenly losing your cash benefits. Likewise, you can gradually try out working without fear of suddenly losing your Medicare coverage, thanks to the incentives described here.

Continuation of Medicare Coverage

Once you become eligible for Medicare, you can continue getting Medicare coverage for at least 93 months (or 7 years and 9 months) after your SSDI Trial Work Period (TWP) ends, if you are still disabled under Social Security’s guidelines. The 93-month period starts the month after the last month of your TWP.

To learn more, read DB101’s article on Medicare or talk to a Work Incentive Consultant.

Medicare for Persons with Disabilities Who Work

If you are still working after your Continuation of Medicare Coverage period ends, you may be able to buy continued Medicare coverage. You are eligible to buy Medicare coverage if:

  • You are under age 65
  • You continue to be disabled
  • Your Medicare stopped because of work

For more information about buying Medicare continuation coverage, visit Medicare’s website or call them at 1-800-633-4227 or 1- 877-486-2048 (TTY). The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also talk to a Work Incentive Consultant.

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)

Many people with low income get Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) health coverage. Some worry that if they make too much money or save up too much, they'll lose their health coverage. However, there are work incentives that mean that if you are getting AHCCCS now and get a job, you’ll still be able to get good health coverage.

AHCCCS Freedom to Work

If you have a disability, you may qualify for AHCCCS Freedom to Work if your income is $5,289 per month or less, depending on your situation and the types of income you have. AHCCCS Freedom to Work lets you keep your AHCCCS coverage by paying a small premium.

To qualify for AHCCCS Freedom to Work you must:

You must pay a monthly premium for AHCCCS Freedom to Work coverage. The premium is based on your income and household size, with a maximum premium of $35 per month.

AHCCCS Freedom to Work pays for things like visits to the doctor, hospital stays, medical equipment, home care services, and mental health services.

1619(b)

If you’re on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 1619(b) lets you keep your health care coverage through AHCCCS, even when your earnings are too high for SSI cash benefits. You can earn up to $36,819 a year and keep your AHCCCS coverage.

To qualify, you must:

  • Have been eligible for SSI cash benefits for at least 1 month
  • Would be eligible for cash benefits if it weren’t for your earnings
  • Still be disabled
  • Still meet all other eligibility rules, including the SSI resource limit ($2,000 if you’re single, $3,000 for couples)
  • Need AHCCCS to work
  • Have gross annual earned income that is below $36,819

If your gross earnings are higher than $36,819 you may still be eligible if you have:

To learn more, talk to a Work Incentive Consultant.

Subsidized Individual Coverage Through Healthcare.gov

If your income is too high to qualify for AHCCCS, you should be able to buy individual health coverage through Healthcare.gov. If your family's income is at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), the government may help you pay for your plan through a tax credit. If your family's income is at or below 250% of FPG, the government will also help you get a plan that has lower copayments and other expenses.

To learn more, read DB101's article on Buying Health Coverage on Healthcare.gov.