The 7 Best Health Insurance For Unemployed Of 2021
Sidecar Healths low-cost, no-commitment health insurance is flexible and affordable, making it the best overall for unemployed individuals.
Enroll and cancel at any time
Exclusions such as maternity vary by state
Complicated claim process
Fourteen-day waiting period from enrollment
Available only in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas
Sidecar Health, founded in 2018, is bringing innovation to health insurance with a totally reinvented approach to getting coverage. Instead of showing an insurance card at your doctors office, Sidecar Health sends you a payment card that is used to pay for your visit in cash. Since youre effectively paying out of pocket using the plan benefits, you can visit any doctor without being limited to a provider network. Unlike traditional insurance, you can sign up for coverage at any time there are no open enrollment periods to worry about.
Who Pays For Coverage
The American Rescue Act provides for COBRA premium assistance to help eligible workers continue their health benefits. Assistance Eligible Individuals do not have to pay any of the COBRA premium for the period of coverage from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. The premium is reimbursed directly to the employer, plan administrator, or insurance company through a COBRA premium assistance credit.
In some cases, employers will pay for coverage for a limited time as part of a severance package. However, your employer is not required to cover your health insurance premiums. Therefore, it is important to talk to your employer before you leave, so you know what your coverage options are.
Use Community Care And Hospital Charity Care Programs
If you have to receive emergency care and you dont have health insurance, remember that some hospitals do have charity care programs for those that cant afford the cost of treatment.
If you have minor illnesses to treat, some community health centers will provide free- or low-cost care through collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration . This tool can help you find HRSA funded health centers.
Spouse Or Parent’s Insurance
If you’re younger than 26 and lose your health insurance, your parents can add you to their health insurance policy. They can do this even if you are married, as long as you aren’t eligible for health insurance through an employer. If you are married and your spouse is employed, see if you can be added as a dependent on his or her health insurance policy.
Check If You Qualify For Medicaid Or Chip
Unlike state health insurance exchanges, there is no enrollment period for Medicaid or CHIP as long as youre eligible, you can sign up at any time. When you enroll in insurance through state exchange programs, many of them will tell you whether or not you are eligible for Medicaid. Or, you can apply for Medicaid through your states Medicaid offices. This website provides links to each states Medicaid website.
In the 36 states that expanded Medicaid, you will qualify for Medicaid based on your income alone. In these states, you will qualify if you make less than 133% of the federal poverty level. In other states, you will qualify if you make less and are also pregnant, elderly, disabled, or a caretaker of a child.
For more information on qualification requirements, check out this guide.
If you are enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, COVID-19 testing services will be covered. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Medicaid and CHIP are required to cover COVID-19 testing at no cost. This includes the cost of the test itself and the visit to the physician office, clinic, or hospital where the test was administered.
How Does Cobra Cover Me
As previously mentioned above COBRA extends your health coverage after your employment has been terminated. Your COBRA rights should be included in your initial documentation of enrolment in your health insurance plan.
However, you should be informed by your employer and your health insurance provider. Once you have received notification of the termination of your employment you will have up to 60 days to decide as to whether you would like to continue your health coverage under COBRA.
This coverage will begin the day after your employment is terminated and will allow you to receive the same benefits as before. This is advantageous as it allows you to retain the doctors and providers that you were using previously.
Keep in mind that the premiums for your insurance would be higher than that of when you were employed if your employer was paying towards your monthly premiums as a benefit every month.
How To Claim The Extra Subsidies
HealthCare.gov has not yet implemented automatic subsidy updates, although thats coming in September . But for now, youll need to log back into your account and update your application to activate the subsidies. You can do this through HealthCare.gov, or through an enhanced direct enrollment entity if you use one.
Some of the state-run exchanges already implemented systems to automatically apply the additional subsidies to accounts where applicants indicated that theyre receiving unemployment compensation this year. But if youre in a state that runs its own exchange, its in your best interest to log back into your account to confirm that youre receiving all of the benefits for which youre eligible.
If you enroll or update your account between August 1 and August 15, your new subsidies will take effect on September 1. The COVID-related special enrollment period ends on August 15 in most states, so this is an important deadline to keep in mind.
If youve already got coverage through the exchange but you dont update your application to start receiving the additional unemployment-based subsidies, youll be able to claim the premium subsidy on your 2021 tax return. However, there is no way to claim cost-sharing reductions after the fact. So its important to make sure youre enrolled in a Silver plan as soon as possible, if you want to take advantage of that benefit.
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Health Insurance Options For The Unemployed
Dont let the worry of not having a job or health insurance eat away at you. Here are the most popular health insurance avenues for people who find themselves without a job.
- Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act . If you lose your job or your hours get cut, youre eligible for COBRA insurance, which is the continuation of your former employer-sponsored health insurance. These are the important facts to know about COBRA coverage:
- This insurance is available for companies with over 20 people.
- You can elect to continue your health insurance however, youll pay both the employer and employee portion, so its costly.
- Spouses and dependents remain covered however, coverage is limited to health care, not a disability or life insurance.
- You can remain on COBRA for up to 18 months.
There are plenty of benefits associated with getting Marketplace health insurance, such as:
No signup required.
Health Insurance Discount Cards
Health insurance discount cards give members access to negotiated low-cost healthcare. They’re not insurance plans, but rather an option you might want to explore as a last resort.
You’ll pay a small monthly fee and get a discounted rate on your services when you go to a doctor or hospital. You’ll still end up paying all your medical costs, but at least you’ll pay less.
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How Can I Apply For Health Insurance If Im Unemployed
There are various ways to apply for health insurance if you become unemployed. If you would like to continue with your work-based policy under COBRA, you should talk to your employer. They should notify you within 14 days of a qualifying event if youre eligible you then have 60 days to apply.
A cheaper option may be to find a policy on the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you lose your job, you should act quickly as the Special Enrollment Period triggered by your unemployment lasts only 60 days.
Depending on where you live, you could also apply for short-term health coverage, which generally lasts up to a year, although United Healthcare has a three-year option.
Health Care Sharing Ministries
A health expense sharing ministry isn’t insurance, but it can be an option if you can find a reputable group. An HCSM involves a group of people who pool their money to pay for each other’s healthcare needs.
This is something like self insuring, because the group functions like their own “insurance company.” Contributions are pooled and are often invested so they earn interest.
A health care sharing ministry involves a group of people who share similar beliefs. It’s a non-profit entity. These plans may have some limits that you wouldn’t find in insurance plans. There may be rules against procedures that the group objects to on a moral basis. Some religious groups use this model successfully, such as Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries.
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How To Sign Up
Go to HealthCare.gov, the insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. If you already have a marketplace plan, log in and select “report a life change.” Then update your application in order to take advantage of the savings.
If you do not already have a marketplace plan, go to HealthCare.gov, create an account and go through the application process.
You can also at 1-800-318-2596 to apply or update your application over the phone. The call center is open 24/7, except holidays.
The American Rescue Plan Included A New Programme Which Will Make Many Obamacare Healthcare Policies Free For Those Who Receive Unemployment Benefits In 2021
The American Rescue Plan included new insurance benefits for unemployment Americans which could help millions of people get free health insurance coverage for the rest of the year.
Anyone who has received at least one week of unemployment benefits this year can sign up to receive coverage from the Affordable Care Act , also known as Obamacare, and enjoy huge discounts on their policy.
Vivian Ho, health economist from Rice University, said that someone on unemployment benefits who has just enrolled in the ACA could stand to knock more than $7,000 off their insurance premium.
She said: I do think itll help some people who are just really in a desperate situation right now. If youve lost your job in the middle of this pandemic and you have no income and youre trying to deal with housing and put food on the table.
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How Do I Get Health Insurance If I Lose My Job
There are many ways to get health insurance if you lose your job. The first is COBRA, which allows you to keep your same insurance plan but can be expensive. Becoming unemployed also qualifies you for a special enrollment period, which means you can purchase any new insurance policy for up to 60 days after you lose your job. In some states, short-term health coverage is an affordable option that can keep you insured for up to a year while you look for new work.
Health Coverage Options For The Unemployed
If you are uninsured or are losing your insurance due to recent unemployment, you do have options to regain health coverage. Depending on your financial situation, only certain options may be affordable. But any level of coverage will help protect you and your wallet down the line.
Depending on the size of your employer, if you were covered by your employers health, dental and vision plans, you may qualify for COBRA insurance. Your employer or their administrator will send you a COBRA packet which will outline the benefits you are eligible to continue.
COBRA premiums can be expensive and often include an administration fee. Pay close attention to your deadlines to enroll and pay.
For more information about COBRA, .
If you are married and your spouse has group insurance through his/her employer. Generally, you will have 30 days to add a spouse/children to coverage.
Should your spouse work and have employer coverage, you may be eligible for coverage due to your qualifying event . Contact the human resources department for your spouses employer to find out if you qualify. There will be a deadline to notify the company and enroll.
UNDER AGE 26
INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE PLANS
At the current time, you may buy individual plans on the Federal Exchange at www.healthcare.gov or directly from a licensed agent/broker or insurance carrier selling in Oklahoma.
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Shop The Health Insurance Marketplace
You can apply for CHIP and Medicaid on the Healthcare.gov website and immediately learn whether you qualify. If you dont qualify for either program you can purchase private health insurance through the site and see if any tax credits may be available to help pay your monthly premiums. You can get an advance on any tax credit for which you qualify to buy your insurance right away, rather than wait for the Internal Revenue Service to give you a refund at the end of the year.
Through 2018, the Affordable Care Act imposes penalties on taxpayers who do not acquire health insurance privately or through the Marketplace. However, you may request an exemption from the penalty. An exemption granted because your income cannot support health insurance premiums may qualify you to purchase catastrophic health benefits using the Marketplace.
Not sure if you are exempt from the tax penalty or from the requirement to purchase health insurance? See “Are You Exempt From Health Care Coverage?” to help determine whether you might be eligible to waive the tax penalty entirely and apply for a health care exemption.
Beginning in 2019, there is no longer a penalty for not having health insurance.
Risk Pool No Longer Available
For single or married persons that have been without health care benefits AND have a serious medical condition , the Indiana Risk Pool was a strong option to consider. However, on January 31, 2014, the ICHIA stopped offering policies since Marketplace enrollment became available. And actually, the program stayed open an extra 31 days to help cover about 7,000 Hoosiers.
Rates were fairly reasonable and if you had been denied coverage and met other specific criteria, you could have easily applied. The program, when active, helped thousands of unemployed and/or low income qualified persons in Indiana obtain health insurance. CHIP is still available for low-income families that need coverage for their children. If your household income excludes you from CHIP-eligibility, Marketplace options are available.
Get On Your Spouse’s Domestic Partner’s Or Parent’s Health Insurance
If your spouse or domestic partner’s job offers health insurance coverage to employees’ spouses and dependents, getting added to their plan can be a simple solution.
A spouse’s or partner’s health insurance is a known quantity: Your spouse is already familiar with the benefits, costs and deductibles, and knows the level of coverage, which can help in assessing its value. On the other hand, if their coverage doesn’t fit your needs, you may want to explore other options.
Normally, you can enroll in health insurance only once a year, during “open enrollment,” which takes place in the fall. However, leaving your job is considered a qualifying event, and gives you 30 days to sign up for your spouse’s or partner’s plan no matter the time of year. You’ll need to complete an application and may need to provide proof that you are losing your health insurance.
I Am Now Unemployed How Can I Find Health Insurance
Health coverage options are available for people who have recently been laid off or lost their employer sponsored health insurance benefits:
- Granite Advantage Health Care Program: Medicaid Expansion coverage for no or low income individuals, ages 19-64
- Children’s Medical Assistance
- Medicaid for pregnant women
You can enroll in the Granite Advantage Program or other Medicaid Programs if you are low or no income and need health coverage. There are also Medicaid programs available for children, pregnant women, and the medically frail.
- Learn more about the Granite Advantage Program
- Enroll in the Granite Advantage Program or Medicaid coverage through NH Easy or HealthCare.gov.
- There are several Medicaid Managed Care plans to choose from. Do your research to make sure that the plan you choose includes your preferred medical providers.
Health Insurance Marketplace
You can purchase medical and dental plans for yourself and/or your family on HealthCare.gov.
- How do I know if I qualify for the Marketplace outside of the Open Enrollment Period?
- HealthCare.gov provides Special Enrollment Periods for people who may have recently lost their employer sponsored health insurance coverage.
- You can apply for the SEP 60 days before they know their coverage will end and 60 days from the date you lost coverage.
- If you do not apply 60 days from the date your health insurance terminated, you will not be able to take advantage of the SEP.
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