Will I lose my Medicaid benefits after getting married?

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

Welcome to Fix My Finances, Yahoo Finance’s new personal finance series. Each episode, we take a look at one viewer’s financial state of affairs and offer advice, insight and information on a variety of issues, including how to save more, spend less and pay off lingering debt.

In this episode, we meet Keith and Candy, a newly engaged couple living in New York City. Keith, 32, is a freelance filmmaker and editor, and Candy, 30, is a freelance music teacher. Once they say ‘I do,’ they wanted to know if they should say ‘I don’t’ when it comes to combining their finances.

Keith and Candy have questions about how to combine their finances after they get married.

Because of Candy’s low income, she receives Medicaid insurance benefits from the government. One of their main concerns is that  Candy will lose her eligibility once they tie the knot.

Once married, if Keith and Candy file federal taxes jointly, both of their incomes will be considered in determining Candy’s Medicaid eligibility. Based on Keith’s income, Candy will likely lose her Medicaid insurance. But even if the couple lives together and filed separately they would still be considered part of the same household under Medicaid rules—so they won’t beat the system that way either.

Simply put, Medicaid is a program intended for low-income participants, and Candy and Keith make too much money combined to continue qualifying.

Once married, it would be in their best interest to find a low-priced health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Check out Keith and Candy on the latest episode of Fix My Finances in the video above.

Want to be a part of this new series? We are looking for people in their 20s and 30s who need a money makeover.  Apply here.

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