What Do You Do If You Dont Have Health Insurance
If you find yourself without health insurance and need medical attention, you should be prepared to pay full out-of-pocket costs for any treatment you receive. In case of an emergency, U.S. law prohibits hospitals from refusing treatment due to your financial situation. However, if you truly are unable to afford coverage, you should see if you qualify for insurance through Medicaid.
If you dont meet Medicaid requirements, you should consider purchasing a low-cost catastrophic plan to protect you financially in case of serious injury or illness.
How Long Will It Take To Enroll
Many state Medicaid agencies are being inundated with requests for help right now so call center response times may be longer than usual. Enrolling online is the best and potentially fastest way to enroll, however, help should be available over the phone. States have 45 days to process applications but the good news is that once you are enrolled, Medicaid coverage is effective back to the date of your application. If you have outstanding medical expenses, Medicaid may also cover your medical expenses incurred up to 90 days prior to your application date, but you will have to request retroactive Medicaid.
Current Law: 16 Weeks Of Federal Additional Income Included In Eligibility
At present, vulnerable workers who become unemployed can receive $600 in additional federal income for 16 weeks. This federal unemployment compensation is included in income eligibility determinations for ACA marketplace eligibility but not for Medicaid and CHIP eligibility.
“Eligibility for assistance of any kind is not substantially different between expansion and nonexpansion states when all the cash assistance available is received, the researchers stated.
However, workers in expansion states are seven times more likely to be eligible for Medicaid, the researchers found. This is a critical metric because Medicaid usually has limited additional out-of-pocket healthcare spending for beneficiaries, as opposed to health plans on the ACA federal or state health insurance marketplace. This would make healthcare more affordable for Medicaid-eligible workers in Medicaid expansion states.
In both Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states, under the current law, a similar percentage of vulnerable workers are not eligible for any federal funding . The percentage is slightly lower in Medicaid expansion states.
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Will I Qualify For Medicaid If I Don’t Have A Job
Medicaid is a federal program administered through each state to help individuals and families who have low income afford to pay for medical care. If you aren’t earning a paycheck, then there is a good chance you will be considered low income. Medicaid offers a large range of services, such as dental care, preventative care, transportation to medical appointments and mental health care. Some of the health services provided by Medicaid require a small co-payment.
If You Qualify Under A Magi Eligibility Group You Will Have To Provide Documents To Verify Eligibility If Necessary
- If you are applying for Medicaid through the Marketplace , you may attest to your household income for the upcoming year. If your income is different than the income found on the data matches, income documentation may need to be provided.
- Citizenship/Immigration status and social security number will be verified through federal data sources. If citizenship/immigration status or social security number does not match, documentation must be provided.
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How Much Is Health Insurance Without A Job
The cost of a health insurance plan without a job can vary. However, there are ways to lower your costs if you choose an Affordable Care Act health insurance plan. When you begin shopping for an individual health insurance plan, you should pay special attention to subsidies. If you qualify for them, subsidies can lower the cost of your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Here are two of the main subsidy types.
- A premium tax credit is a type of subsidy that can help lower your monthly premiums, if youre eligible. You can choose to have the credit paid directly to your health insurance provider to be applied toward your premium,2 or you can claim your premium amount when you file your income tax return.3
- A cost-sharing reduction , also called extra savings, is a type of subsidy that can help lower your out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. If you qualify, you have to enroll in a Silver plan to get the extra savings.
You can check your eligibility for these subsidies online.
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Neither State Nor Federal Income Included In Eligibility
If, however, neither state nor federal compensation could be counted in the income eligibility determination, then expansion states would have more workers eligible for federal- or state-funded assistance.
In this case, the Medicaid expansion states would see 83 percent of their workers be eligible for some form of assistance, with 67 percent of their vulnerable populations being eligible for Medicaid. This would leave 17 percent unable to rely on any assistance.
In comparison, nearly half of vulnerable workers in nonexpansion states would not be eligible for any assistance. Those who were eligible would mainly be able to access both ACA marketplace premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions or ACA marketplace premium tax credits . Only 13 percent would be eligible for Medicaid.
The KFF researchers clarified that while extending federal unemployment compensation to the end of the year would reduce eligibility in both expansion and nonexpansion states, it would not hurt workers and workers families. Having additional cash on hand and access to large marketplace subsidies and cost-sharing reductions could be very useful to unemployed workers in nonexpansion states.
Extending eligibility for financial assistance above 400 percent FPL would allow workers to both receive extra cash to meet needs like housing and food while also having healthcare coverage security, the researchers added.
Income Verification And The Look
Recently unemployed people could have trouble with the Medicaid look-back period. It is entirely common for workers to earn well above the maximum allowable income for several years, only to lose their paycheck when the job ends. In this case, you could be in the unfortunate position of having a 5-year income history that puts you well outside of the eligible range of Medicaid applicants, while having no actual income at the moment. A situation like this may complicate your application to Medicaid, but it does not disqualify you.
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How To Get Health Insurance When Youre Unemployed
Losing your job is bad enough without losing your health insurance, too. Unfortunately, thats what happens every year to millions of Americans whose health care coverage is provided by their employers. There are many options for getting health insurance when youre unemployed, including COBRA, the Affordable Care Acts Health Insurance Marketplace, joining a spouses plan or even purchasing individual coverage. To ensure you dont miss your chance to enroll, however, you need to act fast.
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How To Apply For Medicaid
If youâre eligible for Medicaid, you can apply all year round through your states Medicaid website or HealthCare.gov, the federal health insurance marketplace. If you apply for Medicaid through Healthcare.gov and it looks like you qualify, the federal government will notify your state agency, which will contact you about enrollment. States also generally let you print out paper applications you can mail, fax or return directly to your local government office.
To complete your Medicaid application, you will likely need to provide documentation that you meet your states requirements. This documentation may include:
Your birth certificate or drivers license to serve as proof of age and citizenship
Recent pay stubs or tax returns to serve as proof of income
Copies of bank statements
Proof of address, which could include a lease, utility bill statements or a copy of your mortgage
Medical records to serve as proof of disability
States have 45 days to process your Medicaid application. They have 90 days if eligibility is tied to a disability . If you dont qualify for Medicaid, you might be able to get subsidized health insurance through Healthcare.gov. However, only certain life events allow you to apply for a marketplace health care plan outside of open enrollment, which takes place from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 each year.
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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.
Effective Date Of Coverage
Once an individual is determined eligible for Medicaid, coverage is effective either on the date of application or the first day of the month of application. Benefits also may be covered retroactively for up to three months prior to the month of application, if the individual would have been eligible during that period had he or she applied. Coverage generally stops at the end of the month in which a person no longer meets the requirements for eligibility.
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Who Is Not Eligible For Covered California
Immigrants who are not lawfully present do not qualify for a health plan through Covered California however, they may qualify for coverage through Medi-Cal up to age 19 or for pregnancy coverage. Immigrants who are not lawfully present can also buy private health insurance on their own outside of Covered California.
Virginias Requirements For Medicaid Qualification
Eligibility requirements for Medicaid have to be met before you can qualify for the program. To be eligible for Medicaid in Virginia, you have to belong to one of the designated patient groups. Without this qualification, you will not be eligible for the program. Those medical groups are:
- Parents or caretakers of relatives
- Adults between the ages of 21 and 64 who suffer from a mental illness
- Other adults who qualify
- Adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who are former foster children
You must also be a resident of Virginia who has a valid state ID. You will also need to provide your Social Security number and have documents proving that you are a US citizen. Aside from these things, if you are a former foster child, suffering from a disability or mental illness, you will need to provide documentation regarding these things.
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What Counts As Income During The Covid
As a result of COVID-19, Congress passed the CARES Act, which established a Pandemic Unemployment Compensation for unemployed workers. Workers who qualify for PUC will receive an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits in addition to their regular unemployment compensation.
It is important to note that the additional $600 weekly assistance will not count as income for Medicaid eligibility however, it will be counted as income in determining eligibility for financial assistance through the Marketplace. If individuals are receiving the weekly $600 in PUC, they should include it on their applications for Marketplace coverage.
Additionally, the one time stimulus payment established under the CARES Act will not be counted as income for Medicaid eligibility or Marketplace financial assistance. You do not need to include the stimulus payment on applications for Medicaid or Marketplace coverage.
Options If You Need Health Insurance But Have No Income
If you currently have no earnings and want to get health insurance, you have choices, but they may be limited.
The best option for people with no income would be Medicaid. Each state has its own Medicaid program and, although its not always called Medicaid, each Medicaid program is designed to provide medical insurance to low-income individuals and families, explains Bartleson. He says the easiest way to find your states Medicaid program and apply is to search online.
If you have children or minor dependents and meet the requirements, you can enroll them in your states Childrens Health Insurance Program , says Brian Martucci, the Minneapolis-based finance editor for Money Crashers.
As with Medicaid, CHIP income eligibility varies by state, but the limits can be more generous than for Medicaid, Martucci adds.
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Which Medicaid Plan Is Best In Texas
There is no best Medicaid program. There is only the program that is best for you. Again, this is something best determined by a consultation with someone from Health and Human Services. Medicaid and CHIP cover half of all children in Texas. If yours is a low-income family, or you are an individual that meets other Medicaid qualifications, there is a very good chance that one of the programs is right for you.
How Can I Get Individual Health Insurance
You can get individual health insurance for individuals through a Special Enrollment Period . An SEP gives you 60 days to enroll in a comprehensive health insurance plan for you only, or you and your family after a qualifying life event. You can enroll as soon as your qualifying event occurs. There are several qualifying life events that can make you eligible for an SEP, including:1
- Job loss
- Moving to a new ZIP code
- Loss of employer-sponsored health coverage
- Becoming a U.S. citizen
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What Counts As Income When Youre Enrolling In Health Insurance
Figuring out what sources of income to include in applications for Medicaid and Marketplace coverage can be confusing and overwhelming. For the most part, most taxable and nontaxable sources of income are counted when deciding Medicaid eligibility and financial savings for the Marketplace. However, there are a few exceptions. Read more below.
Signing Up For Medicaid When Youre Unemployed
If you have recently found yourself unemployed, you could be eligible for Medicaid. Most states applications include a box you can check if you have lost your former income from work, which alerts the program workers that your past income figures might not be an accurate guide to your present eligibility. To be on the safe side, you should let your intake worker know about your employment status at the time you submit the application, or you can tell a worker about your situation during the initial telephone interview.
The intake worker you speak with may require some kind of verification that you are unemployed before approving the application. This may be done over the phone or by submitting a written statement from your former employer that indicates you no longer work for them.
Unlike an unemployment insurance claim, the specific reason your employment ended is not relevant to your application for Medicaid, and so you could potentially be approved for health coverage even if you have been denied unemployment compensation.
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Affordable Care Act Subsidized Plans After Medicaid
Special Enrollment Status: If you lose your Medicaid health coverage, a Special Enrollment Period opens up for you. During an , you can obtain full-featured health insurance known as an Affordable Care Act plan.
The SEP is only a 60-day window, so you have to act quickly. Tools like HealthCare.com help you determine which plan is best for your needs and budget.
Without a Special Enrollment Period, you can enroll in a health plan only during the annual Open Enrollment Period, which generally lasts from November 1 through December 15. Once the window closes, you will be unable to enroll in healthcare coverage until the next open enrollment period.
For example, if your Medicaid is canceled as of March 1, you will have 60 days to enroll in a health plan through Obamacare. If you dont enroll by the end of that 60-day window, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period, and the coverage would not be effective until January 1 of the following year.
If you know when your Medicaid plan ends, you can sign up in advance. Health insurance plans are generally effective the first day of the following month after you apply, but a new application may take some time to process.
ACA Discounts for Low and Moderate Incomes: The cost of health insurance premiums can be intimidating, but help is available. Depending on your income level, you might receive a subsidy for ACA coverage.