Question: I am 38 and unemployed and have no umemployment insurance. I am paying $398 a month for health care insurance and receive no subcidy from the government. My parents pay the premium for me as I have no outside income. Apparently I cannot purchase regular insurance with a subsidy and I was told I have have to apply for medicaid. I don't think that is correct. What can I do?


Answer: Dear Charles,

To be eligible for a subsidy, you must earn between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. If your income falls below that amount, you do not qualify. You would be eligible for Medicaid in a state that has expanded its program, such as New Jersey. You may also be eligible in Pennsylvania, if Governor Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan to expand Medicaid takes effect as scheduled next year.


Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. is a professor of law at the Drexel University School of Law and professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at Drexel University. Rob and the expert panel of The Field Clinic blog are available to respond to your questions on health care.