What is Medicaid car insurance, and how can you qualify?
While there is no Medicaid car insurance plan, Medicaid can cover accident-related medical treatments. In this article, we'll review car insurance options for families that receive Medicaid benefits and offer suggestions for reducing policy premiums.
The number one piece of advice we give to anyone shopping for car insurance is to compare quotes between providers. You can do so quickly and easily using our quote tool below or by calling (844) 246-8209 for free, personalized quotes. Also, be sure to read our review of the best car insurance companies in the industry.
In this article:
- Can You Get Medicaid Car Insurance?
- Types Of Car Insurance
- State-Sponsored Low-Income Insurance Programs
- Tips For Low-Income Families
- Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
- FAQ: Medicaid Car Insurance
Can You Get Medicaid Car Insurance?
There is no such thing as Medicaid car insurance. However, Medicaid can cover your hospital bills should you get into an automobile accident. If you are at fault for the accident, Medicaid will pay for your hospital fees but not the fees for anyone else.
Medicaid will not cover any damages to your vehicle, nor will it act as liability insurance. Having Medicaid does not make your car legally insured.
If you are not at fault, Medicaid can provide your medical coverage. However, if there is an insurance settlement and you are awarded damages, you will need to reimburse the state with that money.
In a no-fault insurance state, you are required to pay for your own expenses regardless of who is at fault. In such cases, Medicaid should cover your hospital bills.
Types Of Car Insurance
Minimum insurance requirements are different in every state. With the exception of Virginia and New Hampshire, every state requires some amount of liability coverage, and other standard types of auto insurance are available for things like covering your vehicle after a car accident.
The standard auto insurance coverage options include:
- Liability coverage (BI/PD): Pays for repairs to the other driver’s vehicle if you are found at fault for an accident
- Collision coverage: Covers repairs to your vehicle after an accident regardless of who is at fault
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers repairs to your vehicle that are the result of a non-collision event such as vandalism, theft, or an act of nature
- Medical payments (MedPay): Covers medical expenses for you and your passengers
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM): Covers you and your vehicle after an accident if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured
Medicaid car insurance would most closely resemble a MedPay policy. However, the two are not the same. Medicaid would only cover you and does not extend to any passengers in your vehicle.
While minimum car insurance requirements only mandate liability coverage in some states, it is usually a good idea to seek full coverage if you can afford it.
Full coverage auto insurance means adding collision and comprehensive coverage to your car insurance policy. Without full coverage, you could be left with a damaged vehicle and no means to repair it.
State-Sponsored Low-Income Insurance Programs
Owning a car is a necessity in most of the United States. In places with little or poor public transportation infrastructure, a car is often necessary to earn income. Those that need government assistance such as Medicaid might have a tough time affording insurance premiums.
New Jersey Special Automobile Insurance Policies (SAIP)
This is the closest thing to a Medicaid car insurance program. A SAIP policy, also known as dollar-a-day car insurance, is available to residents of New Jersey with a valid New Jersey license who are enrolled in federal Medicaid.
$365/year or $360/year if paid annually
Must possess a valid NJ driver’s license and be enrolled in federal Medicaid
Critical brain and spinal cord injuries (policy limit $250,000)
$10,000 death benefit
It is important to note that the SAIP program does not meet the minimum insurance requirements for the state of New Jersey. It does not provide liability coverage and acts mostly as an extension of the health benefits you receive under Medicaid in the event of an auto accident.
California Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program (CLCA)
California does not have Medicaid car insurance, but it does offer a special insurance program for low-income residents.
Must possess a valid California driver’s license
Own a vehicle valued at $25,000 or less
Be at least 16 years of age
Have a good driving record
Meet below the maximum income requirements based on household size ($31,900 for 1 person, $43,100 for 2 people, $54,300 for 3 people, $65,500 for 4 people)
Up to $10,000 per person in case of bodily injury or death
Up to $20,000 per accident in case of bodily injury or death
Up to $3,000 for property damage
Uninsured motorist coverage up to $20,000 per accident
Medical payments coverage of $1,000 per person injured
The basic coverage provided by CLCA does meet the state of California’s minimum coverage requirements.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Insurance In Hawaii
Supplemental security income is a federal program that provides aid for low-income individuals over 65 years old, the blind, and the disabled.
In the state of Hawaii, depending on where exactly you live, people who receive SSI may also be eligible for state-provided motor vehicle insurance.
If you are a Hawaii resident, contact your local county health or human services office to find out if state-provided auto insurance is available to you.
Must be 65 or older, blind, or disabled
Receive SSI benefits
Possessions valued at less than $2,000 for single drivers and less than $3,000 for married couples, excluding your home and car
Coverage varies depending on location
To see what providers are available in your area and how they compare, using our quote tool below or by calling (844) 246-8209 for free, personalized quotes.
Tips For Low-Income Families
Finding cheap auto insurance can be difficult, and it can be even harder to meet coverage requirements when you are living month-to-month.
Your credit score and neighborhood are commonly used to determine premiums, and these rarely work in the favor of people who already lack financial resources.
As a major expense, it makes sense to look for options like Medicaid car insurance. Unfortunately, Medicaid car insurance programs do not exist.
There are many charity and community services that may help low-income families pay their bills. If you are struggling, you might reach out to your community for support. Such charities are often unable to meet the needs of every member of the community, so this option may not be the most reliable.
1. Drive As Little As Possible
Most auto insurance providers offer low-mileage discounts or can calculate your car insurance rates with your annual mileage in mind. If you do not drive your car often, you may be eligible for such benefits. Driving your car less will also reduce wear and tear and save on fuel costs.
Of course, this may not be possible depending on where you live and how far your job is from your home. Luckily, low-mileage drivers are guaranteed to save money on their car insurance rates in California.
2. Take A Defensive Driving Class
Ask your auto insurance provider if you can receive a premium discount for completing a defensive driving class. These classes usually cost between $20 and $40 depending on your state but are generally worth it as you can save more than that in a single payment period.
There are online defensive driving options available as well if you cannot afford to attend what is sometimes a six-hour lecture. Online classes usually let you take the course in parts at your own pace.
If you are taking an online defensive driving class, make sure your class is approved by your car insurance company beforehand. Read our American Safety Council review for more insight into the process.
3. Ask For A Higher Deductible
Policies with a higher car insurance deductible generally come with a lower premium. This is a risky option, however. If your deductible is too high, you may not be able to afford to fix your car in the event of an accident, even if you have insurance. Make sure you can afford your deductible should the worse happen.
4. Work With An Insurance Agency
Auto insurance agencies work with customers to find the best policy options for their budgets. Sometimes these agencies have access to special discounts not available to individuals.
Consider contacting an agency to help you find the best local providers for your needs, but do your own research too to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
5. Qualify For Discounts
Most providers offer discounts and premium reduction programs. Ask your provider to learn what discounts are available. Common discounts offered by companies like USAA, Geico, and Progressive include:
- Multiple policy discounts
- Multiple car discounts
- Safe driving discounts
- Good student discounts
- Discounts for cars with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags
Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
Finding low-cost car insurance can be difficult, especially for low-income families. The best thing you can do to get cheap insurance is to shop around and compare car insurance quotes. Not all providers weigh every metric equally, so find a policy that matches your needs.
There are a lot of auto insurance companies that offer low-price insurance, but which don’t reliably pay claims. Some providers have coverage details that make them just short of an outright scam. Make sure that you deal with a reputable provider by comparing reviews and industry reputation.
Here are two reputable choices for cheap car insurance:
Progressive: Best For High-Risk Drivers
Progressive was founded in 1937 and originally specialized in insurance for risky drivers. It has since grown to be one of the largest, most well-known providers in the United States. The company has even expanded internationally and now offers coverage in Australia.
We rate Progressive car insurance at 4.5 stars out of 5.0. It is a good option for high-risk drivers, especially those in their 20s and those with a DUI on record.
Progressive’s Name Your Price® tool lets you start shopping for auto insurance by entering the price you want to pay. Progressive will then find a set of policies, limits, and deductibles that meet the amount you can afford. Progressive's perks include a deductible savings bank, policy bundling, and the Snapshot® mobile app for safe drivers.
To learn more, read our full Progressive insurance review.
Geico: Best Overall
Geico’s advertising campaign has made it one of the most well-known providers on the market. But a British Gecko isn’t the only thing for which the company is known. Geico reliably offers some of the lowest premium options, and we rate Geico auto insurance at 4.5 stars out of 5.0.
Geico’s affordable premiums and easy claims filing process make the insurer easy to recommend. The Geico mobile app makes claims filing simple, and service response times are quick. Geico’s AM Best financial strength rating is A++, indicating a superior ability to meet financial obligations.
With a range of policy discounts like the safe driving discount and good student discount, Geico is a great place to start when comparing auto insurance quotes.
To learn more, read our full Geico review.
To compare quotes from these two top providers, as well as other insurers, using our quote tool below or by calling (844) 246-8209 for free, personalized quotes.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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