Health care for the unemployed

Introduction

Being unemployed can be stressful, especially if you’re also dealing with a medical condition. Fortunately, there are several options out there for people who lose their jobs and find themselves in need of health insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not change how unemployed people get health coverage; it simply expanded coverage to more Americans and made it easier for them to buy health insurance from private companies. Let’s take a look at your options:

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not change the way that unemployed people get health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not change the way that unemployed people get health insurance. The ACA requires health insurance companies to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and preventative care, including birth control.

If you are unemployed and have a pre-existing condition, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period if you:

  • Lose your job or reduction in hours (not just recently)
  • Become self-employed or start working part-time

If you are unemployed and have private health insurance through your spouse’s employer, you may keep it for up to 36 months.

If you are unemployed and have private health insurance through your spouse’s employer, you may keep it for up to 36 months.

This is called “COBRA” coverage. COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-272). It allows those who lose their job to temporarily continue their group health benefits at their own expense.

The cost of COBRA coverage will depend on how much the premium costs when you had insurance through your boss — but premiums can be very expensive!

If you lose your job, continue your existing health insurance for up to 18 months through COBRA. You must pay the entire premium yourself.

COBRA is a federal law that requires employers with 20 or more employees to offer health insurance to employees and their families. If you lose your job, you may be eligible for COBRA coverage. You can continue coverage for up to 18 months after you leave your job. You must pay the entire premium yourself.

Before COBRA, HIPAA was designed to help people who lost employer-based coverage and were not able to get other coverage.

Before COBRA, HIPAA was designed to help people who lost employer-based coverage and were not able to get other coverage. The Affordable Care Act changed many things about health care in America, but one thing that stayed the same is how it affects those who were buying their insurance and had it canceled because of a job loss or reduction of hours.

If you’re losing your job or have lost your job and want information about getting health care plans on your own, here’s what you need to know:

Under state law, you may be eligible to keep your health care coverage without having to pay the monthly premiums under a process called ‘continuation.’

If you were laid off or fired, you may be eligible for continuation coverage if:

  • You lost your job through no fault of your own.
  • Your employer’s health plan is self-funded (meaning that the employer pays out of its funds).

If you are eligible for continuation coverage, getting it is easier than one might think.

If you can’t afford the full cost of COBRA or state continuation coverage, ask whether you’re eligible for financial aid.

If you’re unemployed, you may be eligible for financial aid if you can’t afford to pay the full cost of COBRA or state continuation coverage.

State and federal programs

Financial aid is available in some states (including Texas), so check with your state’s Department of Insurance for information about whether the program is available where you live and how to apply. You can also contact COBRA providers directly to see whether they offer assistance with premium payments.

Employer assistance programs

Some employers offer their employees help with paying health care costs while they’re looking for new jobs. Contact your former employer’s human resources department to see what options are available. If this doesn’t work, ask family members and friends if they can help by contributing toward your coverage through a payment plan or other means.

If none of these programs work for you, consider your other options.

If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or another government program and you’ve explored the options above, consider your other options.

The health insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act may have what you need—but they’re not perfect. If you are buying a plan on your own, keep in mind that deductibles can be high and some plans don’t cover all of the services that others do. You might also want to look into getting coverage through an employer who offers group health insurance plans; some employers offer health benefits even if their employees aren’t listed as full-time employees (though this varies by location).

There are lots of options available if you find yourself without health insurance after losing your job

If you don’t have health insurance, you may be tempted to give up on the whole thing and just wait until you can get back on your feet. But if it’s important for your health and well-being that you stay insured, there are still options available to ensure that happens. You might consider:

  • Paying for private insurance: If you have a job or an income source (even if it’s temporary), paying for private insurance is probably worth looking into. Premiums can vary widely depending on what kind of plan and coverage level you want, but they’re often more affordable than most people think they would be without having had any experience in purchasing coverage before now.
  • Enrolling in COBRA coverage: Depending on how long ago your last job was terminated, there may still be some time left with which to take advantage of COBRA benefits before they end completely. COBRA allows former employees who qualify under specific conditions—usually having been employed by an employer with at least 20 full-time employees—to continue their group health plan coverage after leaving their company’s employ.*

Conclusion

Health care for the unemployed can be a complex issue, but there are many options available to help you and your family stay healthy. You may be able to keep your existing coverage under COBRA or HIPAA if you meet certain requirements. If not, other programs can help those who are unemployed or have lost job-based health insurance through no fault of their own. These programs include HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which allows individuals who have lost job-based coverage due to termination or reduction in hours worked; HIPAA continuation provision, which provides a temporary extension of group health plan benefits; and continuation coverage under state law. You should also consider whether it’s worthwhile investing in an individual policy before looking into these programs so that if something happens during this transition period after losing employment status (such as getting sick), then having access immediately would be beneficial.

Leave a Comment