Over 16 million workers have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are now over 600,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States. The epidemic has cost workers their jobs across the country at an alarming rate with no end in sight.
With a lack of options, many Americans have begun to wonder what their options are. How do you get health insurance if you can’t afford a premium? Do you qualify for a special enrollment period?
Reviewing Your Options: The Best Health Insurance for the Unemployed
If you’re one of the many unemployed workers who lost their health insurance, you’re not alone. However, there are insurance options that you may qualify for. Here are four insurance options that you may be eligible for.
1. Look to Your Family’s Insurance
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you may be able to get on your parent’s insurance if you’re younger than 26. You will need to qualify for an open or special enrollment period to get coverage. Alternatively, you can see if you are eligible for your spouse’s insurance.
2. Check if You Qualify for Free Health Insurance
Before COVID-19, Medicaid provided health insurance to over 72.5 million Americans annually. Medicaid assists low-income Americans in obtaining affordable or free health insurance.
You must meet financial eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicaid. In other words, you must have a low income. Non-financial eligibility criteria include state residency and citizenship-related qualifications. Some states have more eligibility requirements based on age and parenting status.
If you do not qualify for Medicaid, your children may still qualify for CHIP. The Children’s Health Insurance Program offers low-cost and free health insurance to kids. Income limits for CHIP are higher than that of Medicaid.
Medicaid will likely be your best unemployed health insurance option. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to apply, even if you haven’t been eligible in the past.
3. Consider COBRA Insurance
COBRA lets employees extend their employer-provided insurance for up to 18 months after losing their job. While COBRA is a valid unemployed health insurance option, it’s not without its drawbacks.
COBRA can be very expensive to enroll into. Employers normally pay a portion of your health insurance premium. In addition to paying your premium, you will be responsible for your employer’s premium if you use COBRA. The coronavirus has changed millions of lives in America. For many unemployed Americans, COBRA may simply be too expensive.
4. Take a Look at the Health Insurance Marketplace
In 2010, Obamacare changed the U.S. healthcare system. The Affordable Care Act reduced the amount Americans had to pay for insurance. Because of this, healthcare became obtainable and affordable for millions within the U.S.
The health insurance marketplace provides a central place to shop for insurance. Here, you can compare the costs and benefits of each available plan. You may also qualify for federal subsidiaries to reduce your monthly premium. However, the amount of subsidiaries you are eligible for is income-based.
Whether you qualify for a health insurance marketplace will depend on your circumstances. Open enrollment takes place between December and January. However, several states have reopened their enrollment to accept new applications. If you do not live within one of these states, you may still qualify for a special enrollment period.
The coronavirus itself is not a cause for a special enrollment period, but the loss of your insurance is. You will qualify for a special enrollment period for 60 days if you have lost your health insurance.
You will also qualify for a special enrollment period if you’ve had a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events include:
- Divorce or marriage
- Having or adopting a child
- Changes in residence
Let an Insurance Agent Help You Review Your Unemployed Health Insurance Options
Health insurance can be confusing during the best of times, and that ship has long since sailed. Unemployed health insurance is obtainable for many, but you may need to act now. Finding insurance during this challenging time can be daunting, but you’re not alone. An insurance agent can help you review your options for health insurance and get coverage.
Need help finding your unemployed health insurance options? 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 find the right health insurance plan.