Health Care Options

When you get a job, you might get good health care coverage. The type of health care coverage you get will depend on your financial situation and employment status. Here we’ll explain some of your options once you get a job.

Coverage Through Work

Many, but not all, jobs offer health care benefits. If you get health coverage through your job, usually your employer pays most of the expenses. This means that your employer pays hundreds of dollars each month so that you have access to health care. Depending on your job, you may also have to pay a monthly amount in addition to what your employer spends. Details about health coverage through work are explained in the Benefits for Young People – Private Health Care Coverage section.

Cost-Effective Coverage

If you got Medical Assistance (MA) before getting your job and your new employer offers health coverage, but requires you to pay part of your health expenses, you may be able to get MA or Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) to pay for your portion if the county says that your private coverage is cost-effective. You can Chat with a Hub expert to learn more.

Medical Assistance (MA) Through SSI 1619(b) and Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD)

If you get Medical Assistance (MA) and then get a job, you have a couple of options for keeping your MA benefits. If you got Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefits before you got your job, Social Security’s 1619(b) program lets you earn up to $53,658 annually and still keep MA coverage at no cost. That's a good deal!

If you don’t qualify for 1619(b), you may qualify for the Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) program, which lets you keep your MA coverage by paying a small monthly premium. Both MA and MA-EPD may have asset limits, depending on your age. You can read more about these options in the Benefits for Young People article.

Remember that if you have MA and get a job it is very important that you report your income to your county human services agency. Reporting income is discussed later on in this article.

MA, MinnesotaCare, and Individual Plans on MNsure

If your family’s income is at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) ($16,753 for an individual; $34,638 for a family of four), you may be able to get MA coverage, no matter how much you have in assets. If you are a child 18 or younger or are pregnant, you can get MA if your family’s income is at or below 280% of FPG.

If you can't get employer-sponsored health coverage and your family's income is at or below 200% of FPG ($24,280 for an individual; $50,200 for a family of four), you may qualify for MinnesotaCare, which is like MA, except that you have to pay a small monthly premium for it.

If you can't get employer-sponsored coverage, MA, or MinnesotaCare, you can get individual coverage. If your income is at or below 400% of FPG ($48,560 for an individual; $100,400 for a family of four), the government will help you pay your monthly premium through a tax credit, as long as you get your plan on MNsure.

See DB101's Health Programs section to learn more about these programs. You can apply for them at MNsure.

Health Coverage Income Limits for Your Family

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

If you get SSI benefits and then get a job, your monthly cash benefits amount will go down after you start working. Depending on how much you make, you may still get some cash benefits, because only part of the money you earn will be counted when SSI adjusts your monthly benefit. The SSI program does not count the first $65 you earn each month, and they only count about one-half of the rest. This means that a little less than half of your earnings will be counted when Social Security figures out your SSI payment amount. So, if you don't earn too much, you will get paid by your job and still keep getting paid by SSI.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to use work incentives to keep getting some or all of your benefits. These include the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS), the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE), and other incentives. You can read more about incentives and other benefits in the Benefits for Young People article.

For detailed information about how work affects SSI benefits, read DB101’s section on SSI. DB101 also has a Benefits and Work Estimator that can help you figure out how much your benefit might go down after you get a job.

Reporting Your Income

When you get benefits and get a job, you must tell any government agency that gives you assistance that you are now working. This assistance might be cash benefits, health care, or SNAP. The agency giving you with assistance might be Social Security, your county human services agency, or your local housing authority.

You will need to notify each agency of 3 things:

  • The date when you started working
  • How many hours you work each week
  • How much you earn each month

Be sure to keep all pay stubs or direct deposit receipts. Specific instructions for how to report your income are available in DB101’s Going to Work Toolbox. If you have questions, Chat with a Hub expert.

Overpayments

If you get SSI and don’t tell Social Security that you are working, you are breaking the rules and may get too much in cash benefits. This is called an overpayment. You can also get an overpayment if you do not report how much you have in assets, such as your savings and checking accounts.

If an overpayment occurs, Social Security will ask you to pay back the amount they overpaid to you.

Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs) and Blind Work Expenses (BWEs)

IRWEs and BWEs are expenses that you pay for yourself, that are related to your disability, and that you need so you can work. You can ask the Social Security Administration to deduct these expenses when calculating your income so that your countable income is lower. Lower countable income can let you keep more of your SSI benefits while you are working. Click here for more information on IRWEs and BWEs.