Is Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities (MBIWD) Right for You?

Medicaid is government-funded health coverage for people in certain situations. You may qualify if you:

Answer the questions on this page to see if you might qualify for MBIWD. If so, it’s a good option to consider because it lets you earn a lot more money and pay a low monthly premium, low copayments and no deductible to get Medicaid’s comprehensive coverage.

Do You Meet MBIWD’s Basic Requirements?

To qualify for MBIWD, you must:

  • Be 16 – 64 years old
  • Be working
  • Be a U.S. citizen or meet specific noncitizen requirements

If you are 1664 years old, working, and are either a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who qualifies, MBIWD might be an option for you.

Medicaid’s rules for immigrants:

  • Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for full Medicaid coverage, but they may qualify for Medicaid coverage for emergency services.
  • Most immigrants who have been lawfully present for less than five years do not qualify for full Medicaid coverage. However, if their income is at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), they can get private coverage subsidized by the government.
  • Immigrants who have been lawfully present for five years or longer and some other noncitizens who meet specific noncitizen requirements qualify for all of the same programs that U.S. citizens can get.

Do You Have a Disability That Meets Social Security’s Standards?

To qualify for MBIWD, you must have a disability that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. For adults, Social Security says you have a disability if:

  • You have a physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments
  • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months

Note: For MBIWD, Social Security’s disability rules related to earned income do not apply.

If you currently get a disability benefit like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you already meet Social Security’s disability standards.

If not, Ohio’s Division of Disability Determination will check to see if your disability qualifies for MBIWD.

If you already have a disability determination from Social Security or think that your disability will meet Social Security’s standards, MBIWD might be an option for you.

Do You Have Low Resources?

Resources are money and property you own. For MBIWD, you must have less than $11,473 in resources.

Some resources don’t count towards MBIWD’s resource limit, like the home you live in and one car. Additionally, if your disability began before you turned 26, the money you put into an ABLE account won't be counted by the MBIWD program. Learn more about ABLE accounts.

If your resources are below the limit, MBIWD might be an option for you.

Is Your Income Below MBIWD’s Income Limit?

MBIWD is designed so that if you have a disability, you can work without worrying that you’ll lose your Medicaid health coverage. That’s why its income limit is a lot higher.

For MBIWD, you must both:

Tip: Depending on your unearned income, you could actually earn up to $103,470 per year and still qualify for MBIWD.

MBIWD: Income Limits

If your income is low enough and you meet all other requirements, you should sign up for MBIWD, after making sure it is better than any employer-sponsored coverage you could get.

MBIWD’s monthly premium

You have to pay a premium to get MBIWD coverage in any month where your countable income is over $1,561. The amount you pay depends on your income and your family's income, as well as your family's total medical expenses. To learn how much your premium might be, try DB101's MBIWD Estimator.

Example

Freddy has no unearned income and makes $5,208 per month at his job. He makes way too much money for Medicaid, so his county worker tells him to apply for MBIWD.

When the county reviews his application, it says Freddy only has $2,561 in countable income, so he easily qualifies for MBIWD. He will have to pay a monthly premium, but it’ll be a lot less than he’d have to pay for private insurance.

How to Sign Up

You can apply for MBIWD:

For help with your application, visit or call your local County Department of Job and Family Services (CDJFS) office or call the Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680 or 1-800-292-3572 (TTY).

Staying on MBIWD

Usually, once you are approved for MBIWD, you will continue to qualify as long as your situation doesn’t change. If your income, immigration status, residency, or household size changes, let your County Department of Job and Family Services (CDJFS) office know or report the changes online. When you report your changes, the county will tell you whether you will continue getting MBIWD and if your premium will change.