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Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities

[This document presents guidelines for MBIWD. For more details, contact one of the sources listed on the last page. This material is developed and funded under the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, CFDA 93.768, from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.]

How does Medicaid Buy-In help people with disabilities?
In Ohio, the Medicaid Buy-In program is called Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities. Many call it MBIWD.

MBIWD allows individuals with disabilities to earn money from a job (income) and to keep their Medicaid health care coverage.

Am I eligible for MBIWD?
To find out if you are eligible, answer the following questions

1. Are you between 16 and 64 years old?
Yes. Continue.
No. Sorry, you are not eligible.

2. Do you have a job that pays you regularly?
Yes. Continue.
No. Sorry, you are not eligible.

3. Do you have a disability that meets the SSI or SSDI standard?
Yes. Continue.
No. You may not be eligible. However, you may become eligible if you take your medial records to your local Job and Family Services (JFS) office and ask for a disability determination.

4. What is your monthly gross income?  ____________
Include the following income (SSI rules apply).
Unearned:  Benefit checks; Annuity income; Medicaid does not count $20
Earned:  Medicaid counts gross wages ($65 deduction with the remainder divided by 2) and other work incentives may be deducted

Is your income less than $2,167 per month or less than $26,000 per year?
Yes. Continue.
No. You may not be eligible. However, there are deductions that can be applied to your income. Contact your WIPA office (see list at end of document) and ask them to apply the appropriate deductions, including the $20,000 MBI deduction, to see if you will be eligible.

Note:  In 2008, $26,000 is considered 250% of poverty level for an individual. 250% of poverty is a requirement of MBIWD.

5. Do you have more than $10,000 in resources?
To figure your resources:  DO NOT COUNT things like house you live in, one car, term life insurance, PASS Plan, or irrevocable burial plot.  DO COUNT items like cash, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, anything you own that could be converted to cash.

Yes. You may not be eligible. However, you may become eligible if you contact your WIPA office and ask them to apply possible deductions to your resources.

How do I apply for MBIWD?
Contact your local county Job and Family Services office. Ask for an Application for Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities. Fill it out and return it as requested on the form.

If you don’t know how to contact your local office, phone 1-800-324-8680 or visit

Some people who are eligible for MBIWD will have to pay a monthly fee for their health care coverage. This is called a premium. This premium will take the place of any spend down or patient liability you may be paying.

If your total family income is LESS than 150% of the poverty level, you will not have a premium.
The monthly 150% poverty levels for 2008, are:
For 1 person…$1,300
For 2 people…$1,750
For 3 people…$2,200
For 4 people…$2,650
For 5 people…$3,100
For 6 people…$3,550
For 7 people…$4,000
For 8 people…$4,450
These levels change each year.

If your total family income is MORE than 150% of poverty level, follow these directions to find out the approximate amount of your premium:

What is your total family income per month?
Subtract the amount that is 150% of poverty level for the number of people living in your house.
Multiply by 10%. The balance is your amount of monthly premium.

Note: If you are currently paying for any health insurance, you may deduct that payment from your MBI premium.

Click here to learn more about MBIWD, eligibility, premiums and how to apply.

Questions?  Contact WIPA.
If you have additional questions about MBIWD contact the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) office in your area. The offices are listed below.

Meg Griffing, (614) 294-7117, (877) 521-2682, fax (614) 294-7443,
Counties served: Adams, Ashland, Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Greene, Guernsey, Hardin, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Washington, Wayne and Wyandot

Ohio Legal Rights Service
Art Schlesinger, (614) 466-7264, (800) 282-9181,
Counties served: Allen, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Geauga, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Medina, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby,
Trumbull, Van Wert, Williams and Wood

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincnnati
Julie Honican and Andrea Zigman, (513) 241-9400, (800) 5822682, (513) 241-1930,
Counties served: Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren

This document was produced by
Cerebral Palsy Association of Ohio
995 Goodale Ave., Suite 2, Columbus OH 43212
(800) 796-8498, v/tty (614) 228-8300