The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes financial assistance to stimulate the economy and assist those struggling during the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 emergency. The two main types of financial assistance for individuals and families are stimulus payments and expanded unemployment compensation. Below is a summary of whether and how each impacts eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP, and subsidized Marketplace insurance. Remember, payments must be reported even if the County Assistance Office (CAO) or Marketplace will ultimately disregard them when calculating income and resources.
What are they?
Economic stimulus payments are one-time payments of $1,200 for individuals ($2,400 for married couples) whose income is no higher than certain thresholds. People with children can also get an additional $500 per dependent child.
Do economic stimulus payments count as income for Medicaid, CHIP or Marketplace insurance?
No. Economic stimulus payments are not counted in determining income eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP or subsidized Marketplace insurance.
Do economic stimulus payments count as a resource for Medicaid?
Economic stimulus payments do not count as a resource in determining Medicaid eligibility for the first 12 months after the payments are received. However, if a person still has their stimulus money after 12 months, it will count as a resource for those Medicaid categories that have resource limits.
What is PUA?
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is unemployment compensation for people who are not eligible for regular unemployment compensation and are not working for a reason related to the COVID-19 emergency. For example, independent contractors, people self-employed, and people who do not have enough work history are usually not eligible for regular unemployment compensation, but may be eligible for PUA if the reason they are not working is related to the pandemic.
Does PUA count as income for Medicaid, CHIP or subsidized Marketplace Insurance?
Yes. Just like regular unemployment compensation, PUA is considered income for Medicaid, CHIP, and subsidized Marketplace insurance eligibility purposes. See Operations Memorandum #20-05-02.
What is FPUC?
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provides an additional $600 per week to people getting regular unemployment compensation or PUA. It is available through July 25, 2020.
Does FPUC count as income for Medicaid or CHIP?
No, FPUC is not counted in determining income eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP. See Operations Memorandum #20-05-02.
Does FPUC count as income for subsidized Marketplace Insurance?
Yes. FPUC is included when determining income eligibility for subsidized Marketplace Insurance.