In recent weeks, the coronavirus has impacted the lives of American workers across the country. There are now over 641,000 confirmed cased of COVID-19 in the United States. The majority of states have issued stay-at-home orders that have resulted in a mass shut down of businesses, layoffs, and furloughs.
If your income has changed dramatically over the past few weeks, you’re not alone. Workers across the country have lost their jobs, gained unemployment, and gained new employment in essential areas. But if your income rises too high, you could lose your eligibility for Medicaid.
Having affordable health insurance is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. While testing for the virus is free, treatment is not. If you are losing Medicaid eligibility, you must find new insurance right away. That’s why it’s important to explore your insurance options after Medicaid and what to consider when selecting a new policy.
Why You May No Longer Be Eligible for Medicaid
Medicaid eligibility is primarily determined by your income. The program’s income limits are determined by several factors. For example, individuals who are disabled or 65 years of age or older use the same income figures as the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
In addition to income limits, Medicaid imposes non-financial eligibility criteria. The program is only available to U.S. citizens and qualifying non-residents. Some states have set other eligibility criteria related to eligibility groups, such as age, pregnancy status, or parenting status.
If you are receiving Medicaid coverage and there is a change to your household size, income, or other qualifying factors, you will lose coverage if you no longer qualify. Losing Medicaid eligibility most commonly occurs when you begin to make more than the allotted income limits.
Choosing a New Plan After Losing Medicaid Eligibility
The health insurance marketplace is the best way to review your options for insurance. The marketplace provides side by side comparisons of various insurers and plan options. However, to qualify for new insurance through the marketplace, your state must have an open enrollment or you must be eligible for a special enrollment period.
If you are losing Medicaid eligibility, you can qualify for a special enrollment period for 60 days due to a loss of insurance. Loss of health insurance is considered a qualifying life event, along with changes such as a change of address, getting married, or adopting or having a child.
Considerations to Make When Choosing a Plan to Replace Your Medicaid Coverage
It is important to replace your Medicaid coverage right away after losing eligibility. Acting quickly can help you avoid a lapse in your health insurance coverage. Here are three considerations you should make when reviewing your options for a new policy.
Insurance costs include premiums, the amount you pay for coverage each month, and out-of-pocket expenses. Your out-of-pocket expenses will likely include copayments, small amounts charged at the time of a service, and coinsurance, the percentage amount that you pay for your medical care. Your insurance will not begin to pay for your medical care until you have met your yearly deductible.
Plans with lower deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums typically include a higher premium. These plans may save you money if you need a lot of care. Low-income adults can also qualify for premium tax credits, which reduce the amount of your premiums based on your income.
2. In-Network Doctors and Facilities
If keeping your doctor is important to you, choose an insurance policy that lists your doctor and doctor’s office as in network. If your doctor is out of network, you will likely pay more for services you receive, or your insurer may not pay at all.
Health insurance benefits vary between insurers and plans. That’s why it’s important to review benefits when selecting a plan. Check for any prescriptions or treatments that you regularly receive to find a policy that will suit your budget and needs.
Losing Medicaid Eligibility? An Insurance Agent Can Help
Losing Medicaid eligibility can be scary, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are no longer eligible for Medicaid, you must find replacement insurance quickly. Anyone can get the coronavirus and having adequate insurance safeguards your health and finances.
A licensed insurance agent can help you replace your Medicaid coverage. An insurance agent can help with your health insurance marketplace application, explain key details of the plans you see, and help you choose your next policy. Are you losing Medicaid eligibility? Fiorella Insurance Agency is one of the largest licensed insurance agencies in Florida, with 66,000 healthcare customers and rising. Contact us today to learn how we can help you replace your Medicaid coverage. Just fill out the form below to get started immediately.