Justice ACA’ed: Widow gets birthday present of increased monthly income and stable health insurance

Last year, our client turned 62 and became eligible for public benefits in addition to the pension from her late husband’s work that she had been receiving. She hoped that since she was at retirement age, she could take advantage of additional benefits to make her life a little easier.

She contacted us to ask whether she had any options. We reviewed her eligibility and determined that she had the option to select from either retirement benefits or widow’s benefits to increase her monthly income.
The retirement benefit would give her less monthly income than the widow’s benefits, but would allow her to remain income eligible for Medical Assistance.

We advised that she if accepted the smaller amount, she could switch to the larger benefit when she turned 65 and would become automatically eligible for Medicare. She wouldn’t have to worry about staying income eligible for her to keep Medical Assistance.

If she wanted the bigger monthly benefit, we would need to find her alternative health insurance. We researched the Marketplace insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. She selected a medium-priced insurance policy, which she will supplement with the Pennsylvania’s HIV drug assistance plan.

Now she receives widow’s benefits in addition to her pension, and she switched from Medical Assistance to an ACA health plan. With our help navigating the system, she was able to make her birthday wish for an increased monthly income come true.