My son is 28, lives at home and makes less than $10,000 per year. How does the ACA affect him?


Question: My son is 28. He pays to live in our home. He makes less than $10,000 a year and has $20,000 in savings. How will the healthcare act affect him? Will he have to use up all his savings? Thank you for your help.

- Liz

Answer: Your son’s ability to obtain health coverage depends on whether he lives in a state that has chosen to expand Medicaid. His income of less than $10,000 a year is below the federal poverty level. That means he would not qualify for financial assistance for purchasing coverage on one of the new insurance exchanges. If he lives in a state like Pennsylvania that has not expanded Medicaid, it is unlikely that he would qualify for that program, either, unless he is disabled. The health reform law would help him only if he lives in a state like New Jersey that will expand Medicaid to cover everyone at his income level.


Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. is a professor of law at the Earle Mack School of Law and professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at Drexel University. He also writes for The Field Clinic blog. Ask Rob your questions about the new healthcare law.