Benefits for Young People

Freedom to Work Eligibility for Young People

If you get a job and are either making too much money or have saved up too much money to get Medicaid, you might qualify for Medicaid's Freedom to Work program. Freedom to Work offers the same coverage as standard Medicaid, but you may have to pay a monthly premium to keep your coverage.

To qualify for Freedom to Work, you must:

  • Be 16 – 64 years old
  • Live in Michigan
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a qualified immigrant
  • Be working
  • Have a disability that meets Social Security’s medical standards.
  • Have limited income
    • When you apply, you must have countable income at or below $3,138 per month.
      • Freedom to Work counts earned income and unearned income differently. Only about half of your earned income is counted, so you could work and make a lot more than the $3,138 limit and still qualify, depending on your unearned income.
    • After Freedom to Work coverage starts, your unearned income must stay at $3,138 per month or less. Once your coverage starts, it doesn't matter how much you earn, as long as you have some earned income.
    • For eligibility, only your income is counted, not the income of other household members.
  • Have limited countable resources (money in an ABLE account, the house you live in, and one car aren't counted):
    • When you apply, you must have less than $9,430 in resources.
    • After Freedom to Work coverage starts, you can have up to $75,000 in resources. Note: After coverage starts, money you put in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), 401(k), or 403(b) while you are working doesn't count towards the limit.

You have to pay a monthly premium to get Freedom to Work coverage in any month where your income is higher than $1,732 (if you are single). The more income you have, the higher your premium. To learn how much your premium might be, try DB101's Freedom to Work Estimator.

How to Apply for Freedom to Work

When you apply for Medicaid, your application is also checked to see if you qualify for Freedom to Work. You don't have to fill out a separate application.

You can apply for Medicaid and Freedom to Work:

For help with your application, visit or call your local county human services agency or call the Medicaid Beneficiary Help Line at 1-800-642-3195 or 1-866-501-5656 (TTY). Tip: If your county human services agency doesn't know about Freedom to Work, mention Section 174 of the BEM manual.

If you don't qualify for Freedom to Work, you may be able to get private insurance subsidized by the government through tax credits.

Learn more about Freedom to Work in DB101’s How Health Benefits Work article.

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