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Health Care Insurance For Unemployed

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If you’re unemployed, you may be able to get health insurance coverage through a parent, spouse, domestic partner or another family member. This can be an affordable option because frequently an employer will contribute to the cost of the health insurance plan.

On average, it costs an additional $209 per month to add a second adult to an employer-sponsored health insurance plan.

Your actual costs will vary based on the plan’s benefits and how much the employer contributes to the cost. Usually, if you qualify for medical coverage, you’re also eligible for the associated vision or dental plans.

How Low Does Income Need To Be To Qualify For Medicaid

Now you might be wondering, Can I get free health insurance without a job? The answer is that Medicaid is usually free. Although states can charge you a share of the cost, in most cases, you wont have to pay anything.

Next you might wonder, How low does my income have to be to qualify? Medicaid income levels are based on the governments federal poverty level . Check out this resource at to see how you stack up.

What if your household income is too high to get Medicaid but too low to afford decent private insurance? Your children might still qualify for a Medicaid program called CHIP . Another plus? Enrollment for CHIP is open year-round.

Should You Ever Go Without Health Insurance

The federal fine for not having health insurance is no longer in place, although some states have their own penalties. Should you take the risk and make do without health insurance?

A fine will be the least you have to worry about if you break your arm, get appendicitis or have a heart attack and don’t have health insurance. The average hospital admission in the U.S. cost over $24,680 in 2018, according to the average admission for surgery cost $47,345. Perhaps it’s not surprising that medical costs are a leading cause of U.S. personal bankruptcies. Purchasing at least minimal coverage can help provide peace of mind, knowing that you’re covered if a costly illness or accident occurs while you’re in between jobs.

Read Also: How To File Your Unemployment Taxes

Get The Cheapest Health Insurance When Unemployed

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

For most people who are unemployed, we recommend getting insurance through the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace.

Although there are several ways to get coverage, the most cost-effective option will be with a plan that reduces your health insurance costs based on your income, as ACA marketplace plans do. For example, a health insurance plan for someone who is recently unemployed can cost $47 per month. That assumes the person chooses a cheap Bronze plan and their total income for the year is $35,000, including the parts of the year when employed.

While Medicaid is even cheaper than the ACA marketplace, it’s only available for those who meet the income requirements, which can be less than $18,754 for individuals in many states. If you recently lost your job or your spouse is employed, it will be harder to qualify for Medicaid because other income sources, including unemployment income, are included when determining eligibility.

When shopping for coverage, watch out for short-term health insurance plans and their high deductibles. The cheap prices of these plans are attractive, but before the benefits kick in, you could have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for medical care.

Provides the same coverage that you had through your job, but costs can be high. Automatically eligible to continue your job-based insurance after you stop working.

How Much Is Health Insurance Without A Job

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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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Key Healthcare Terminology To Help You Shop For A Plan

To make an informed decision when shopping for a health plan, its important to understand some key terminology and factors which can significantly impact overall costs. Most terms that come up during open enrollment are plan features that can factor into the overall amount you pay for healthcare.

Deductible: Your deductible is the amount of money you need to pay for medical care before your health plan starts sharing costs. For example, if your deductible is $1,500 for the year, you will pay out of pocket for all care until youve spent $1,500.

Choose a health plan that has a deductible you can afford, since this comes from your own pocket if you have healthcare expenses. Also, be sure to check to see whether a plan youre considering has a separate deductible for healthcare services and for pharmacy youd be responsible for each.

Network: A network is a group of medical care providers, such as doctors, pharmacies, and specialists, that are contracted to serve customers of certain health plans. Youll want to make sure your and your familys preferred doctors and pharmacies belong to the network of the plan youre choosing. Otherwise, youll rack up unwanted costs for out-of-network services.

Coinsurance: Instead of copays, plans can include coinsurance you pay a percentage of the costs for covered services, and your health plan pays the rest. Depending on your plan, your coinsurance usually kicks in after you meet your deductible.

How Much Does Health Insurance For The Unemployed Cost

Health insurance options while unemployed vary according to the policy you choose. If you use the governments Health Insurance Marketplace, these policies comply with the Affordable Care Act and cost an average of $230 to $400 per month .

If you continue with your employer-sponsored health insurance under the COBRA Act, you can choose to pay the full premium cost for a maximum of 18 months. On average, this costs $400 to $500 per month, per person.

Other options include short-term policies that cost considerably less, in some cases under $100 per month.

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A Guide To Affordable Health Insurance For Unemployed Individuals

Weve all been through some tough times, however, being without health insurance in those times should simply not be an option. Theres nothing more stressful than being unemployed and being without health insuranceand this stress is compounded if you have dependents who rely on you. Not only are you between jobs, but you also have the hassle of trying to figure out what youre going to do about health insurance.

ConsumerCoverage is here to help get you covered, even during those tough times. Our insurance partners want to help and have come together in our Consumer Marketplace to compete for your business. Take a few minutes and complete our form. Well then connect you with an agent that provides you with a free quote. Unemployed or not, Weve Got You Covered!

Get Started Now Comparing Quotes

Health Insurance Options For The Unemployed

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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.
  • Spouse or Parents Employer Coverage. If youre fortunate enough that your spouse has health insurance, you can get added to their coverage just get them to check with HR first. Along the same line, if youre under the age of 26, you can get added to your parents health insurance plan.
  • Special Enrollment Period Marketplace. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act in 2010, if you lose your job, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period insurance through Marketplace but you have to act quickly as you only have 60-days.
  • There are plenty of benefits associated with getting Marketplace health insurance, such as:

  • Offers free or low-cost health care
  • Provides ACA-compliant coverage
  • No signup required.

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    Keep Your Coverage With Cobra

    Passed by Congress in 1985, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allows people who lose their employer healthcare coverage to stay on their former employers group health insurance plan for up to 18 months following the end of their employment. As an alternative coverage option, COBRA also permits spouses of former employees even if the couple divorces to retain coverage for up to 36 months.

    COBRA is a great option for individuals who have already invested a significant amount of money towards their yearly plan deductible and it provides a measure of security during periods of unemployment. COBRA coverage picks up right where the employer policy left off. For example, if you have a $5,000 deductible and have already fulfilled $5,125 in claims toward your deductible, your out-of-pocket costs for any additional medical services for the rest of the year will be greatly reduced, as your health insurance company will most likely pick up much of the tab.

    What Is The Health Insurance Marketplace

    The Health Insurance Marketplace is a place where eligible individuals and families can shop for and purchase health insurance. The Marketplace makes it easy to compare plans based on premium, out-of-pocket costs, and plan categories. All health plans sold on the Marketplace must cover 10 essential health benefits, which include services like hospitalization, emergency services, pregnancy, and mental health and substance use treatment.

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    How Does Not Having Coverage Affect Health Care Access

    Health insurance makes a difference in whether and when people get necessary medical care, where they get their care, and ultimately, how healthy they are. Uninsured adults are far more likely than those with insurance to postpone health care or forgo it altogether. The consequences can be severe, particularly when preventable conditions or chronic diseases go undetected.

    Key Details:
    • Studies repeatedly demonstrate that the uninsured are less likely than those with insurance to receive preventive care and services for major health conditions and chronic diseases.8,9,10,11 More than two in five nonelderly uninsured adults reported not seeing a doctor or health care professional in the past 12 months. Three in ten nonelderly adults without coverage said that they went without needed care in the past year because of cost compared to 5.3% of adults with private coverage and 9.5% of adults with public coverage. Part of the reason for poor access among the uninsured is that many do not have a regular place to go when they are sick or need medical advice .

    Figure 8: Barriers to Health Care among Nonelderly Adults by Insurance Status, 2019

    • More than one in ten uninsured children went without needed care due to cost in 2019 compared to less than 1% of children with private insurance. Furthermore, one in five uninsured children had not seen a doctor in the past year compared to 3.5% for both children with public and private coverage .

    How To Get Health Insurance If You Are Unemployed

    How To Get Health Insurance For Unemployed

    Its no secret that Americans need health insurance without it, the cost of any health care that you may require can be financially crippling. The majority of Americans have employer-sponsored health insurance, meaning that their job provides health insurance benefits.

    But, what happens if youre unemployed? Perhaps you have recently lost your job or youve graduated college, are over the age of 26 and no longer on your parents policy and havent found a job yet. If you arent working, can you get health insurance? Absolutely! However, it should be noted that you do want to shop with caution and carefully weigh your options so that you can be certain you are choosing the best option for your needs. Unfortunately, many insurance options that are available for unemployed individuals charge exorbitant fees and offer limited coverage, which is definitely not what you want.

    So, how do you go about finding health insurance if you arent working? Heres a look at a list of some of the most common options that are available for unemployed individuals.

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    Employment Change In Urban Centres

    Chart 5 shows employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas from June 2021 to July 2021.

    Toronto , Barrie and Ottawa-Gatineau led employment gains among the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas between June and July. Employment level fell in Hamilton

    In July, employment in 11 of the 16 Ontario urban centres remained below pre-COVID February 2020 levels, led by Toronto , Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo , Belleville , Hamilton and Oshawa .

    Ottawa-Gatineau , London , Peterborough and Guelph reported employment that was above pre-COVID February 2020 levels.

    When Should You Use Cobra

    COBRA is usually not the most cost-effective way to get health insurance. We recommend that you only use it for a few months or in the following situations:

    • Stopgap to continue coverage while waiting for another policy to begin.
    • To keep using a plan’s benefits when you’re receiving ongoing health care and you’ve already met the plan’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. In this situation, the higher monthly costs of a COBRA plan are offset by lower medical costs because the plan details carry forward when it switches from employer coverage to COBRA.

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    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
    • Childrens Medical Assistance
    • Medicaid for pregnant women
  • NH State Continuation
  • Granite Advantage/Medicaid

    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
    • 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

    • How do I know if I qualify for the Marketplace outside of the Open Enrollment Period?
    • 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.

    Need Help?

    Aca Health Insurance Marketplace

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    For most unemployed people, a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act marketplace will provide the best coverage at the lowest rates.

    Anyone can get coverage through the marketplace regardless of income, making it useful for those who are recently unemployed or seasonally unemployed. Plus, the amount you’ll pay for a plan is based on your expected annual income, which helps to make insurance more affordable.

    Frequently called “Obamacare” plans, health insurance plans on the marketplace are sold by private insurance companies. Plans are grouped into tiers â Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum â making it easier to find the best level of coverage for you. You can also cancel your insurance at any time.

    All plans provide comprehensive benefits for medical care, including free preventive care. You can’t be charged more because of a medical condition, and you also can’t be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. For children, dental and vision benefits are included, and adults can add on dental coverage.

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    Is Financial Assistance Available For Health Insurance When You’re Unemployed

    You can get help with insurance costs when youre unemployed. People with low or moderate incomes can get reduced premiums and other financial support for their health insurance through their states marketplace, Dr. Miller says.

    The American Rescue Act of 2021 has expanded the financial assistance available to people who have lost their jobs. More people qualify for health insurance tax credits, and those who are already qualified may receive even more assistance. Three out of five eligible unemployed individuals on average qualify for $0 health insurance plans under the expanded benefits, while four out of five will get coverage for $10 or less per month.

    Suppose you received unemployment income at any point during 2021. In that case, CMS encourages you to complete an application or update your information at by August 15, 2021, to see if you qualify for increased savings.

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