Losing a job is often the most distressing part of an individual’s life. After all, they have lost their only source of income. Now, who’s likely to bear responsibility for all the household bills? Not to mention that the employer’s group health coverage is also gone with the job gone. If you’re in such a situation, we can understand your pain. But don’t worry. If you’re a family highly dependent upon health insurance, here are some great ways to get health insurance during unemployment.
Let’s get started.
Short-term Health Insurance
This is a great option if you’re looking for quick temporary coverage. Short-term health insurance can last anywhere from 30-90 days and is perfect for covering emergencies and providing the necessary coverage.
If you’ve resigned and won’t start a job for a few months, getting short-term health insurance is a quick fix. But before you acquire a plan, here’s what you should know:
It Won’t Cover Everything
You’ll not get the same treatment and coverage as your employer group insurance plans. This temporary fix will cover some intensive care costs, inpatient/outpatient care, and emergency room visits. However, you cannot expect temporary insurance to pay for maternity care, preventive services, or pre-existing conditions.
Although the premiums are usually affordable, and you can start with the coverage within 24 hours, the out-of-pocket costs and deductibles can be pretty high. Hence, this plan is comparably more expensive than traditional plans.
Another handy insurance plan is COBRA. With this plan, you can continue your employer’s coverage for a while after being jobless. In fact, employers are obliged under federal law to allow employees to keep their insurance for at least 12 months. In some cases, it can even stretch to 36 months.
However, it can get really expensive since you have to bear the entire cost of the coverage. From premiums to deductibles, the entire payment bears your shoulder.
Marketplace Health Insurance
If you cannot afford COBRA, you can always resort to government-backed Marketplace coverage within 60 days of your unemployment. While the premiums can be high, here’s what you need to look out for:
Subsidies: You can qualify for tax credits if you apply through Medicaid or CHIP.
High deductible plan: It’s better to go for a high-deductible plan if your family is healthy and doesn’t require frequent hospital visits. Such plans usually have the lowest premium.
It’s a great program providing health insurance to low-income families and certain individuals, including pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In fact, almost 78 million Americans are covered by Medicare.
If you do qualify for it, you can benefit from reduced premiums and some costs such as copayments and deductibles. Usually, you qualify for Medicaid on the basis of your income instead of your employment situation.
The Medicaid qualifying income levels are based on the federal poverty levels (FPL). If you cannot afford it, CHIP is another alternative.
It’s another state-backed insurance program, but Medicare is only for individuals aging 65+ or people receiving social security benefits for the past two years. A Medicare is broken down into three parts:
Hospital costs – Part A
Medical costs – Part B
Prescription drugs – Part D
Another Type C, i.e., the Medicare advantage plan, bundles all the above three plans together. Medicare plans cover complex treatments such as kidney failure treatment and ALS.
Private Individual Plan
If nothing works in your favor, you can always reach out to private health insurance companies or work with an insurance agent. You can also reach out to any of the best health insurance companies at your choice. Although the policies might be good, like ACA plans, at least you’ll have something in case of an emergency strike.
Spouse or Parent’s Health Plan
Here’s another option for you: using your spouse’s health plan. If you’re unemployed and married, and your spouse has group health insurance from their employer, you can be included on their policy.
Moreover, if you’re under 26, you can go back to your parent’s health insurance.
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