A staggering 6.1 million people are unemployed in the United States. It can be tough when you’ve lost your job and lost insurance as well. About 49% of Americans get their insurance from their employers. So losing your job will make it difficult to get health insurance coverage.
Having health insurance is important, especially now that there is a pandemic. Without health insurance, you won’t enjoy the benefits that come from the waivers and deductibles. The health care costs can quickly add up if you don’t have health insurance. If you have lost your job, check if your company offers an exit package or additional coverage.
Here are ways to get health insurance when you have lost your job.
1. COBRA Coverage
If you have lost insurance, federal law allows you to continue with the enrollment for up to 18 months. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is only available for firms with at least 20 employees. You have 45 days to pay your first premium and 60 days to elect COBRA.
You will continue with the health insurance you had before and enjoy the same benefits. Its only drawback is the higher premiums. After your job ends, you’ll pay the total cost of the plan and an additional 2% administrative fee. You cannot switch to a plan through the health insurance marketplace until the COBRA ends.
The COBRA coverage covers you, your dependents, and your spouse in your previous plan. However, the rules vary depending on the state. Make sure you check with the human resource department. You’ll qualify for COBRA insurance if you lost your employer-sponsored health coverage due to the following reasons:
- Loss of work hours
- Involuntary or voluntary job loss
2. The Affordable Care Act Marketplace
If you can’t afford to pay the COBRA, you can explore more options with the health insurance marketplace. You qualify for the special enrolment period during the coverage of your lost insurance.
The benchmark marketplace plan for a silver level in 2022 is $438 per month. However, the amount does not include subsidies. You’ll have 60 days to enroll in the marketplace plan, but the coverage does not start immediately. The marketplace plans start the first day of the month once you lose your job.
You can get a tax credit that will come in handy to subsidize your marketplace health insurance plan. Once you go to the health insurance marketplace, search for the plans depending on the level of coverage you need.
3. Short-term Health Insurance
Short-term insurance is also another way you can get health insurance. The plan gives you health coverage for 12 months. However, you can renew your coverage depending on your state.
You can enroll in short-term health insurance anytime, and you don’t have to wait for the special enrollment period.
The short-term plan does not cover pre-existing conditions. You also won’t qualify for government subsidies. These plans offer temporary medical coverage and are a great option until you can get major medical insurance.
4. Spouses Coverage
You can also get insurance through your spouse. If you are married to someone with an employer-based health insurance plan, you can join them. You have to do so within 30 days of losing your health coverage.
It will be an additional cost on your spouse’s paycheck. Still, it is a far more affordable option than buying health insurance from the marketplace. Make sure you call their employer to learn more information about the plan.
Medicaid is an excellent starting point when you have a low income and need health coverage. Washington, DC, and 37 states offer free comprehensive health coverage to people who have reduced income below 138% of the poverty line. That is roughly $1,467 per month for one person and $1,982 for couples. But Medicaid is not available in 14 states for low-income people unless they are above 65 years.
Once you meet all the qualifications, you can apply for Medicaid anytime. Even though the doctor participation rates vary depending on the state, it is accepted in many hospitals. Medicaid is provided by managed care plans. Go to your state’s Medicaid agency to see if you are eligible for health care coverage.
6. Catastrophic Coverage
Catastrophic health plans have low monthly premiums and are required to cover the ten essential health benefits similar to the market plans. It will cover you if something major happens.
Since the plans are high deductible, they are only meant to provide coverage in a worst-case scenario, such as illness or injury. You’ll pay out of your pocket for preventive screenings or doctor appointments. You’ll need a hardship exception to be eligible for catastrophic coverage. Losing your job and eventually resulting in lost insurance at the same time can be stressful, and navigating the aftermath will be overwhelming.
Before you settle for any of the above options, do your research to understand what each option entails to understand the costs, drawbacks, and benefits. Your option will be personal, but you’ll save money in the long run if you get sick.
Seek Help Through The Lake Region Insurance Agency!
Walking through the process of your lost insurance, Lake Region Insurance Agency can help you and guide you to move forward after losing your insurance. If you want to purchase different kinds of insurance that would suit your needs, you can just get in touch with Lake Region Insurance Agency, and we are willing to assist you.