Best For Families: Molina
Only available in 11 states
AM Best rating unavailable
Some user reviews report issues with claims
Becoming unemployed is incredibly stressful if you also have a family to consider, and health insurance costs can be considerable if you have several dependents. Molina is our best choice for families, as they have economical and cost-saving options, with benefits geared toward pregnancies and children.
Molina offers insurance for individuals and families through Medicaid, Medicare, and the Marketplace. If your income is between 138% to 400% of the federal poverty level, you can use tax credits for Molina plans to reduce the monthly premiums significantly. Plus, no matter how large your family, the deductible is capped at twice the individual deductible.
Molina has excellent family perks, such as wellness and preventative health services, plus child and adolescent shots, pediatric preventative healthcare, and pregnancy care.
A drawback with Molina is their policies are limited to 11 states. You may also need to look for a new doctor who partners with them because of their limited network.
Your Options Depend On Your Household Income
When you apply for Marketplace coverage youll estimate your income for the current calendar year.
- How to estimate your income if youre unemployed
Its hard to predict your annual income if youre unemployed. Still, its important to make your best estimate based on all current or expected sources of income for the year.
Types of income to include on your application:
- Unemployment compensation that you receive from your state. Visit CareerOneStop’s Unemployment Benefits Finder for more information about unemployment in your state.
- All household members income
- Additional types of income, including interest income, capital gains, and alimony
- Most withdrawals from traditional IRAs and 401ks. for information on non-deductible contributions, and IRS Publication 590-B for information on Roth accounts.)
Note: Its very important to immediatelyupdate your income information with the Marketplace if your income changes during the year. This will ensure you get the right amount of savings based on your new annual income estimate.
How To Get Health Insurance If You Are 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.
You May Like: What Is The Federal Id Number For Unemployment
How To Get On Your Parent Or Spouses Health Insurance Plan
If you have a spouse with job-based health insurance, you may be able to join their policy. Adding you to their plan will increase their health insurance costs, but this still may be a cost-effective way to get robust health insurance.
Thanks to the ACA, people under age 26 can also stay on or join their parents’ private health insurance plan, thanks to the ACA. It will add costs for your parents, but it may be well worth it to get good coverage for you.
About the Author
Best Catastrophic Coverage: Bluecross Blueshield
Blue Cross Blue Shields catastrophic policies are the best catastrophic coverage in our review because they’re the most economical option for unemployed individuals who cant afford standard health insurance.
Plans available in all 50 states
Offers a dedicated plan for adults younger than 30
Large provider network
Coverage options vary across 35 regional companies
Certain unemployed individuals qualify for low-cost catastrophic coverage, particularly those younger than 30 years old and some low-income households. If you fall into the former category, you may be interested in BCBSs Young Adult plan, a policy designed for individuals ages 18 to 30 who otherwise could not afford insurance.
BCBS is divided into 35 independent companies across the United States, catastrophic coverage is offered under several different names depending on your region.
Policy terms also vary by location, but they all share the common characteristics of catastrophic insurance: low premiums, high deductibles, and free access to preventive medicine required by the Affordable Care Act.
Catastrophic policies offered by BCBS can be either HMOs or PPOs depending on the state, but even if you do need to stay in-network, know that the BCBS provider network is one of the largest in the country.
Also Check: Where Do I Get My W2 For Unemployment
Join Your Spouses Plan
After you lose your job and your spouse has health insurance from their work, you can join their plan as a dependent. This option appeals to many people because they already know everything the policy covers. However, you can experience higher premiums when you add another dependent.
Joining a plan as a dependent can be a great option for families, allowing them to claim and protect their children, as well. Especially since many Marketplace plans depend on income, switching to your spouses plan can help you find affordable coverage. Of course, its still worth researching other options to ensure you review everything thats available to you.
Using The Affordable Health Insurance Exemption
The Affordable Care Act sets a limit on the costs of health insurance. If an employer plan costs more the 9.66 percent of the employees household income, then it is not affordable the employee can reject an unaffordable plan and buy insurance on the marketplace.
Comparison shopping is an excellent technique for finding the best fit among affordable policies. This type of state resource includes plans eligible for payment assistance in addition to premiums tax credits.
Also Check: When Will The Unemployment Boost Start
Medicaid Chip And Insurance Plans Through The Marketplace
When you fill out a Marketplace application, youll find out if you qualify for any of these types of coverage:
- A Marketplace insurance plan. You may qualify for premium tax credits and savings on deductibles, copayments, and other out-of-pocket costs based on your household size and income. Some people with low incomes may wind up paying very small premiums. Learn about getting lower costs on a Marketplace insurance plan.
- Medicaid. Medicaid provides coverage to millions of Americans with limited incomes or disabilities. Many states have expanded Medicaid to cover all people below certain income levels. Learn more about Medicaid and how to apply.
- Childrens Health Insurance Program . CHIP provides coverage for children, and in some states pregnant women, in families with incomes too high for Medicaid but too low to afford private insurance. Learn more about CHIP.
After you finish your Marketplace application, youll get an eligibility determination that tells you what kind of coverage you and others in your household qualify for.
How Can I Get Health Insurance Without A Job
Group insurance through an employer may be the most common way to obtain health coverage, but it is not the only one. If you find yourself unemployed, a Special Enrollment Period allows you to enroll in an individual or family health plan within 60 days. Other events that might make you eligible for an SEP include:
- Changing your marital status
- Having a baby
- Becoming a US citizen
- Moving to an area where your current plan is notoffered
- Losing health insurance from your employer
Once you enter your SEP, you can shop for unemployed health insurance on the exchange offered by your state or through a licensed broker like eHealth. If you choose a plan that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act , you may qualify for subsidies if you cant afford your health plan on your own. With increases in subsidies due to the ARPA, more people are qualifying for subsidies than ever before.
Recommended Reading: Where Can I Get Health Insurance If I Am Unemployed
How Do You Get Health Insurance With No Job Or No Income
For most people who are unemployed, we recommend applying for health insurance on HealthCare.gov.
This portal will tell you if you qualify for programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or discounts on marketplace plans. Each state is slightly different in its qualification criteria and process. However, starting from HealthCare.gov will help guide you to the programs and resources that are relevant for you.
What Happens To Your Employer
If you are laid off from your job, your health insurancecoverage typically ends when your job does. Some employers will extend benefitsto the end of the month in which you are laid off, but this varies from companyto company. Under a federal program known as COBRA, you may keep your currentinsurance, but you must pay the full amount of the premiums and any otherexpenses previously covered by your former employer.
The cost of keeping your current coverage under COBRA can bequite high. Many individuals find it is more cost-effective to enroll in anunemployed health insurance plan that will offer similar coverage for lessmoney in many cases.
Recommended Reading: Will The Unemployment Be Extended
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.
Choosing A Marketplace Plan
Within the marketplace, you can choose different types of health insurance plans designated as bronze, silver, gold, and platinum based on the level of coverage:
- Bronze plans offer the lowest monthly premium but highest costs when you need care, with deductibles that can be thousands of dollars per year. These are best for low-cost coverage against worst-case medical scenarios.
- Silver plans offer more moderately priced premiums and costs when you need care with deductibles lower than Bronze plans. Silver plans are best if you qualify for a cost-sharing reduction or are willing to pay a slightly higher premium in return for lower costs when you receive care.
- Gold plans have higher monthly premiums than either silver or bronze plans but provide more help paying for the care you receive with fairly low deductibles. If you receive a lot of medical care, these can be good options.
- Platinum plans carry the highest monthly premium and provide the lowest costs when you receive care with very low deductibles so your plan starts paying earlier than other categories of plans. If you receive a lot of medical care and dont mind paying a high monthly premium to have almost all of your other costs covered, platinum plans may be a good option.
You may have access to catastrophic plans with low monthly premiums, but very high deductibles and are designed to protect you from worst-case scenarios.
Read Also: Can I Add Money To My Unemployment Card
Verify That The Provider Network Suits Your Needs
If you love your doctor or see multiple specialists, you want to make sure all of them are in-network. Networks vary by heath insurance plan, so its important to verify with your health insurance company of choice that the plan network will give you access to your doctor and local urgent care facilities and hospitals.
Once you have a good understanding of these three considerations, you can begin shopping for a plan. If you are healthy and only use preventive services, you might be able to save costs and apply for a low cost, high deductible plan. Just make sure you have $5,000-$12,000 in the bank that can cover your deductible should an accident or critical illness arise unexpectedly. If you use medical services regularly, you might want to consider a higher cost, lower deductible plan. It can be less expensive to spend a little more each month for a healthcare plan if you know you will be using care regularly.
Local Help At No Cost
Do you have questions about finding health care plans while unemployed? Health Plans in Oregon can help you make sense of all of this new information without cost to you. Let us help you with all your health insurance and Medicare inquiries. Reach us thru 503-928-6918 or send an email to [email protected].
Read Also: How Do I Get Health Insurance In Maryland
Recommended Reading: How Do You Qualify For Unemployment
Best For: Recently Laid Off And Can Afford To Continue Your Employers Coverage
If youve been laid off or become unemployed, you may be able to continue with your employers health insurance under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA. Assuming you qualify, you could stay covered by your employers group plan for up to 18 months after leaving your job.
Thats great news if you were happy with your employers insurance,, but theres a catch: COBRA coverage shifts the responsibility for paying premiums to you and its possible that you may be required to pay the entire amount due, up to 102% of the cost to the plan.
If youve lost your job and dont have another position lined up right away, its possible that COBRA coverage isnt the best route for your budget. but you do have a bit of time to decide. Normally, youd have 60 days after losing your employers coverage to elect COBRA coverage. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, you now have until 60 days after the COVID-19 national emergency ends to decide. This is an advantage as it means you have more time to weigh other -potentially less expensive health insurance options before making a full commitment.
Who Pays For Coverage
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. In determining COBRA premiums, the plan can include 100% of the costs paid by employees and the employer, plus an additional 2% for administrative costs.
It is important to talk to your employer before you leave, so you know what your coverage options are.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Apply For Unemployability With The Va
Best For Telehealth: Cigna
All Cigna individual health insurance plans include free access to two of the largest virtual care networks in the United States, making Cigna our choice as best for telehealth.
Almost all individual plans include $0 virtual care.
Partners with two major telehealth networks
$25 monthly copay limit on insulin
Offers 24/7 customer service
Dental coverage starts at $19 per month.
Individual plans available in only 13 states.
Policies must begin on the first day of the month.
Access to telehealth services can be a lifesaver for anyone dealing with unemployment. Virtual care saves you the time and cost of getting to a doctors office, and you also can get remote treatment for some minor ailments without having to pay for an in-person visit. Cigna includes $0 telehealth visits with all of its individual plans through partnerships with MDLive and Amwell, two of the largest telemedicine providers in the United States.
Virtual health visits arent the only advantage to purchasing health insurance from Cigna. In-house customer service is available 24 hours a day to answer questions and provide assistance. The company also places a $25 monthly out-of-pocket cost limit on insulin regardless of your coverage level.
Get Advice From An Independent Insurance Agent
Not only will an independent insurance agent find you the best package for your budget and needs, but they also know the ins and outs of your states laws. Some states want you to apply for government-based insurance through the federal marketplace. Others have a state-based marketplace and set their own levels of eligible income. Pretty confusing, huh? Thats why having an agent in your corner helps a lot.
Also Check: Can I File For Disability While On Unemployment
How Much Does Health Insurance Cost Without A Job
The cost of health insurance will depend on the type of plan you choose. The cheapest option could be Medicaid, which is free to low-cost, or a plan through the ACA marketplace, which has a variety of coverage options and discounted rates based on income.
Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area
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