Have you lost your health insurance due to unemployment? And are you wondering what to do? Don’t worry. This article offers the best options to take to ensure you receive your care.
Yes, it has happened that you are among the millions of US citizens who have lost their jobs due to uncertainties like Covid-19 or any other causes.
The next thing happens- you lose that health insurance that your employer was responsible for contributing each month. When you look around, left and right, you are confused about what you should do.
Here is the good news. That’s not your death sentence. There is still some hope.
That said, let’s see six options to handle your lost health insurance.
See if you Qualify for Medicaid
Medicaid can be one of the best options if you’ve recorded a significant decrease in your monthly income. It provides low-cost to free care as well as comprehensive benefits. Moreover, this coverage allows for retroactive effects as much as three months back. If you qualify for it, then it can help you solve lots of your problems.
The outstanding feature about Medicaid is that it has no specific period for enrolling. You can decide to sign up at your convenient time, but only if you qualify. When you apply for insurance through state exchange programs, most of them will inform you whether you can be a suitable candidate for Medicaid or not.
Alternatively, you can sign up for Medicaid by visiting the Medicaid Offices in your state.
Your current monthly income determines eligibility for Medicaid. If you’ve been working as a middle-class employee in the past few months and your income has gone down or even to zero, Medicaid can accommodate you.
It can best suit people residing in the 36 Medicaid-expanded states set aside to assist low-income people in receiving health benefits.
If you are within those 36 states and you can’t generate more than 133% of the federal poverty level, then you are an eligible candidate for Medicaid. On the other states, you can qualify if you make less money, and you are also elderly, pregnant, caretaker of a kid, or disabled.
Find out if you can afford COBRA Coverage
COBRA is abbreviated from the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. If you were employed but later lost your job as well as your health insurance, you can opt for COBRA.
So how does COBRA work? It offers you an option to continue enjoying the same insurance benefits you had while with your employer.
But here is the bitter part, you’ll be responsible for catering all the premium costs that your employer used to incur. It can only help for 18 months.
Honestly, COBRA is costly. Can you imagine you’ll be required to cover full premium costs, including the amount of premium your employer spend on you? If you consider the average annual premium pay for most of the employers to their employees, you’ll notice a dramatic increase in premium costs.
Even worse, you must clear the administrative fees (2%) that were previously covered by your employee. That explains why many people can’t afford it.
However, this plan can be a great deal for people who are pregnant or undergoing expensive treatment courses like cancer or any other chronic conditions and have their deductibles satisfied. Again, people who don’t want to change their care-providers can hang on it.
Feel free to check out What is a Deductible in Health Insurance( With Examples)
Opt for Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange Plans
Are you newly unemployed? Then this can be the best bet for you. If you have your employer-sponsored insurance, that’s one of the critical things that makes you legible to signing up for this program within 60 days after losing your job. If you delay signing, then you risk being engulfed by the next year’s annual open enrollment period.
Additionally, if you have lost your job, the government offers you with cost-sharing programs or even sponsored premium subsidies if you are signed in these exchange plans. To confirm if you qualify for them, visit the official website for Healthcare.gov, where you’ll find the available exchange plan options.
Join Your Spouse’s Health Insurance Plan
Look around. See if one of your family members has a health insurance plan that can accommodate you.
However, this option doesn’t always apply to all people. For instance, if you are under the age of 26, you can be included in your parent’s health plan. On the other hand, if your spouse is privileged to have employer-based health insurance, then you can see if you can join their plan.
Utilize Hospital Charity Care or Community Care Programs
Some hospitals offer charity care programs, especially to people who genuinely can’t afford the cost of treatment. Therefore, in case you have a health emergency, don’t be oppressed in your house if you don’t have health insurance, and you’ve lost your job.
What’s more, for minor injuries or illness, you can visit some health centers that offer low-cost to free health care. Most of these centers collaborate with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to make care accessible to citizens.
Feel free to check out How to Maximize Social Security with Spousal Benefits?
Don’t Give up
Hey! Don’t throw your hands up and say, “To hell.” Relax and brace yourself. Ensure you fill as many necessary forms as you can. If Medicaid doesn’t accommodate you, you can always opt for the other options that can comfortably suit your pocket.
However, the best option while in the US is to have health insurance. Possessing it ensures that you access the best care and avoid running under medical debts. Otherwise, see if one of the options above fits you well.