Understanding the ACA: the minimum income standard for ConnectorCare and how it affects seniors

Vicky Pulos
MLRI has updated its 2016 paper  on a quirky aspect of the law that is affecting a relatively small group of  seniors who may lose eligibility for ConnectorCare (which has no asset test) when their income drops below 100% of poverty or they go from being Lawfully Present to Qualified immigrants still with income of 100% of poverty or less. For low income seniors who don't have Medicare and have assets too high for MassHealth, they will now lose ConnectorCare because their income is too low.   Yup, you read that right. There is an income floor in ConnectorCare with just one exception for lawfully present immigrants who do not qualify for Medicaid under its more restrictive immigrant eligibility rules (like legal permanent residents subject to the 5 year waiting period). The people affected are seniors who are not enrolled in Medicare (Medicare enrollees are never eligible for ConnectorCare) with low income but assets over the $2000/$3000 asset standard for MassHealth for seniors and who are US citizens or Qualified immigrants.  The attached paper in Q & A format, lays out the problem, and an array of options that may help at least some seniors qualify for ConnectorCare, MassHealth or other health coverage programs.