I want to discuss a situation that comes up all of the time with so many of my clients. It has to do with a lack of medical insurance. Many of my clients come to me and are in serious need of medical care. However, because they have stopped working, they have lost their medical insurance. Now that they have no income it is impossible for them to afford private health insurance. Some clients are able to apply for medical assistance with the state of Pennsylvania and they can receive free health insurance that way. Unfortunately, many folks will not qualify for medical assistance due to assets or income issues. What can people in this situation do?
Pennsylvania has an incredible program called MAWD (medical assistance for workers with disabilities) that may help. MAWD allows working people to obtain extremely low cost health insurance through the state. Of course you read the foregoing sentence and think to yourself: Mr. Chermol, I cannot work! That is the problem! Yet you still may be able to be covered by MAWD. How?
MAWD provides that if an individual is working and agrees to dedicate a certain small percentage of their income to paying the state for health insurance, then the state will agree to give that person medical assistance health insurance. Now you say to yourself again: Mr. Chermol I cannot work! However, MAWD does not require you to work more than one hour per month in order to qualify. What you can do is set up with a neighbor or a friend or a family member to pay you by check for doing some minor task one hour per month. You could water their plants, or babysit, or housesit. Admittedly, the “work” is very minimal, but it does qualify you potentially for MAWD.
To be eligible for MAWD, the work you do must be paid at an hourly rate that is at least minimum wage. You will also want to document that you have been paid by check and that you deposited these checks into your checking account. There is no need to bother with 1099s, tax withholding, Social Security taxes or any of the like if you keep the amounts extremely low.
The end result is that you can get health insurance from the state for literally a few dollars per month! Yet so few people in Pennsylvania take advantage of this great program for which they are or could be eligible. How do you get started with MAWD once you have begun working that one hour per month? Start by going to the following website for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Or you can just run a GOOGLE search for: MAWD Pennsylvania. Once you are at the website, print the first page of the site out. Then go down to your local welfare office, bring that piece of paper, and tell one of the employees that you wish to apply for MAWD. Often times the welfare employees are unfamiliar with the program. However, by bringing them the print out you can demonstrate to them exactly what you are talking about. If they are unaware of the program, they will get you a manager who can get the process started for you.
The MAWD program can be especially useful to those folks who are awaiting Medicare eligibility. MAWD can be the bridge that gets you medical insurance until your Medicare coverage begins. So remember, if you need low cost medical insurance and have none right now, MAWD could be a real lifesaver.