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How To Get Medical Insurance If Unemployed

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You Have Accumulated At Least 600 Hours Of Insurable Employment During The Qualifying Period

Insurance Information : How to Get Health Insurance When Unemployed

Hours of insurable employment are the hours you work, for one or more employers under written or verbal contracts of service, for which you receive wages.

The qualifying period is the shorter of:

  • the 52-week period immediately before the start date of your EI claim or
  • the period since the start of a previous EI benefit period, if that benefit period started during the last 52 weeks.

To be eligible for EI sickness benefits, you must have accumulated at least 600 hours of insurable employment in your qualifying period.

If you are a self-employed fisher, you must have earned $3,760 from fishing during the 31-week qualifying period immediately before the start of your benefit period. For more information on EI benefits for self-employed fishers, consult the guide called Employment Insurance Benefits for Fishers .

Ease Your Health Insurance Worries With Help From An Expert

Heres the truth: Trying to figure out your health insurance can be really overwhelming, especially if youre unemployed. Why not take the stress out of it and let an independent insurance agent guide you? Having an agent step in to make sense of it all is really helpful.

Among other details, an independent agent will know your particular states laws vs. federal policies. Even better? Theyll be able to save you money by knowing how and when to apply the perks of the American Rescue Plan.

Ready for some good advice and peace of mind from trusted insurance experts in your area? Start the process today by talking with an Endorsed Local Provider .

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

How To Claim The Extra Subsidies 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, 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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How To Get Health Insurance While Unemployed

If youre an unemployed resident, you may be more worried about paying your rent, utility bills, or car payments than health insurance. Many unemployed individuals work on searching for a full-time job while trying to stay out of debt, and remain unconcerned with something like health insurance.

Keeping up with your finances when youre unemployed can be difficult and complicated. However, having health insurance is a vital part of keeping you financially stable. If you or a family member unexpectedly gets sick or hurt, the hospital, medical, and prescription bills can be astronomical. Medical bills can have the potential to put you into debt for years to come. Health insurance can help make medical costs cheaper and easier to handle. As an unemployed resident, you may have access to discounted health insurance that will help keep you healthy and financially secure while you transition to a new full-time job. Below are a few programs that may help you afford health insurance, even if youre unemployed and not currently insured.

Who Is Eligible For Unemployment

Where To Get Health Insurance If Unemployed ...

The unemployment-based subsidies are available to anyone who has received or been approved to receive unemployment compensation at any time this year.

Eligibility for the unemployment-based subsidies includes people whose income is under the federal poverty level, as long as theyre not eligible for Medicaid. People with income under the poverty level are normally not eligible for subsidies, which means theres a coverage gap in the states that have refused to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid. But a person who would otherwise be in the coverage gap can receive a full premium subsidy and full cost-sharing reductions in 2021, if they receive unemployment compensation at any time during the year.

CMS has confirmed that the full premium subsidies are only available if its a taxpayer who is receiving the unemployment compensation. If its a dependent who is receiving it, the household is eligible for the cost-sharing reductions , but not the full premium subsidies.

Even if you only received unemployment compensation for one week of 2021, youre potentially eligible for the enhanced subsidies for the entire year. But subsidy eligibility would end if and when you become eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage , or premium-free Medicare Part A.

The ARP has not fixed the family glitch, so family members would also lose access to any subsidies in the exchange if they become eligible for employer-sponsored coverage thats considered affordable for the employee.

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How To Get Health Insurance If Youre Unemployed

Karena Yan

There are several coverage options for those who are unemployed, with special options in place during the COVID-19 national emergency.

Becoming unemployed is scary no matter when it happens, but it can be especially scary during a global pandemic. For many people, the loss of a job also means the loss of health insurance.

In April 2020, the unemployment rate peaked at 14.8% the highest its been since 1948 before declining to a still elevated rate of 6.2% in February 2021.The Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve predict that unemployment rates will remain above 6% over the next three years. Employer-sponsored insurance is the most common form of health insurance in the US, and since the pandemic began, 14.6 million workers and their dependents have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage.

If youve lost health insurance provided by an employer, you dont have to remain uninsured. Whether due to the pandemic or after the pandemic, if you are unemployed there are several options that you may be eligible for to gain health insurance coverage. In most cases, your household size and your income will determine what coverage options you have and how much youll pay for them.

1. Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program

To determine eligibility, Medicaid only considers your current income, not your income earned in the past year. This is especially helpful for recently unemployed individuals needing to access Medicaid services.

Learn About Marketplace Health Insurance Plans

If your income is low or youre currently unemployed, shopping for health insurance through the Marketplace may be financially beneficial for you. The Marketplace offers tax breaks and discounts on health insurance plans for individuals who are on a tight budget, unemployed, or earn a low-income. The price of the health insurance plans is based on the number of people in your household and your yearly income. The health insurance Marketplace doesnt take into consideration if youre employed or not, so you can still qualify for low-cost coverage without a full-time job.

During regular health insurance enrollment periods, you can access the Marketplace website and input your household details and yearly income. The website will then display health insurance plans that you qualify for, so you can see your options. These health insurance plans will have different coverage options, so its important to review their details to make sure you choose a plan that suits you best. The Marketplace website will also take the details of your household and let you know if you qualify for Medicaid coverage. States are constantly expanding the reach of Medicaid, so its a good idea to keep checking back on the website to see if you can qualify for this program.

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Best For Budget: Sidecar Health


  • Only available in 16 states

  • Phone assistance is not 24/7

When thinking of health insurance providers, it isn’t surprising if Sidecar Health doesn’t come to mind. This newcomer to the market launched in 2018 with big plans to change the face of health insurance. The Sidecar Health model differs completely from standard health insurance and could save you 40% on healthcare costs, making Sidecar Health our top budget pick.

Sidecar offers three plans: Budget, Standard, and Premiumalong with an option to customize any plan. These are not ACA-compliant, but their website hints an ACA-compliant plan may be coming soon.

With Sidecar Health’s online system, you select the level of coverage you want, then choose your options, such as prescription drugs. Policies are priced around $200 monthly for coverage of $10,000 per year and up to $400 monthly for annual coverage that maxes out at $2 million. Typically, there’s a $0 deductible, although you can opt to pay one to reduce the premium. Coverage starts within 14 days.

You have the freedom to see any doctor or provider, who you’ll pay with your Sidecar Health Visa payment card when you receive care. Because you’re effectively paying in cash, you may also find further discounts.

Sidecar Health isn’t traditional insurance, and you can join them or leave at any time. This is particularly useful when you’re unemployed and don’t know how long you’ll need coverage.

How To Find The Right Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance options for recently unemployed

If you have encountered a change in your employment, eHealth can help you find the best health insurance plan available in your state. We offer licensed agents in every state, ready to help you find a health insurance plan that meets your needs and budget. When you enroll in a plan through eHealth, you can sign up on our website, through our live chat or on the phone. Once you are enrolled, we offer 24/7 support to help you manage your plan. Check out individual and family health insurance plans in your area to learn more about your options.

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Is There A Solution

Not only is money tight, but the ability to have expensive medication covered is gone. And you never know when illness can arise.

But luckily, you’re not completely out of options.

The flexibility of our healthcare system ensures that all people have access to healthcare that covers their needs.

To help you stay insured during your unemployment, we’re bringing you the 5 best options for health insurance for unemployed people.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is one of the most common types covered under your employer’s insurance plan. Not everyone carries this insurance, but everyone should.

However, dental plans are available for separate purchase by individuals. It makes them an appealing type of health insurance for unemployed people.

Put simply, public health covers the main health issues, including normal doctor visits.

Many unemployed people choose to live without additional health benefits.

For those under 24 years of age, new legislation has made some prescription drugs covered in full. This makes it even more appealing to avoid supplemental health insurance altogether.

It’s a very real option to put your faith in the public health system and choose just to buy dental insurance.

It keeps costs down and avoids paying for something you may not need. Especially if you’re a younger individual.

Hospital Cash Plans

For those looking for protection over the long run, hospital cash plans make an excellent way to ensure you’re covered in the event of an emergency.

How Do You Apply For Short

Most short-term plans are easy to apply for and can be a helpful solution if youre looking for medical insurance for a period of time. The premiums tend to be affordable. However, the deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses for short-term plans are usually more expensive than those for comprehensive ACA health plans.

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Do I Qualify For Unemployment Health Insurance Benefits

Under the American Rescue Act, you qualify for an expanded health insurance subsidy if you received an unemployment benefit during any week of 2021. This subsidy will make it possible to qualify for a $0 premium plan for you or your family.

This benefit has a retroactive start date of Jan. 1, 2021, and lasts through the end of 2021.

Ei Special Benefits For Self

Where To Get Health Insurance If Unemployed ...

Self-employed Canadians can now apply for EI special benefits if they are registered with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission for access to the EI program.

For more information or to see if you qualify, visit the Service Canada website or call 1 800 O-Canada . If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a teletypewriter , call 1-800-926-9105.

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How To Get Health Insurance If Unemployed

  • Medicaid.
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • Workers Compensation.
  • Individual and Family health Insurance.
  • Short-Term Health Insurance Coverage.
  • People ask , what is the minimum income to qualify for health insurance? In general, you may be eligible for tax credits to lower your premium if you are single and your annual 2020 income is between $12,490 to $49,960 or if your household income is between $21,330 to $85,320 for a family of three .

    Also, how can I get insurance without a full time job? The good news is you can get health insurance without a job. While group health insurance is not an option for those without an employer, you can still qualify for individual or family plans. Individual health insurance offers all the same coverage options as you may find from employer-sponsored plans.

    , how much does Cobra cost a month? With COBRA insurance, youre on the hook for the whole thing. That means you could be paying average monthly premiums of $623 to continue your individual coverage or $1,778 for family coveragemaybe more!

    , can I get ObamaCare if I have no income? If youre unemployed you may be able to get an affordable healthinsurance plan through the Marketplace, with savings based on your income and household size. You may also qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Childrens health Insurance Program .


    Heres What You Need To Do To Sign Up

    Think you qualify for a special enrollment period? Head over to You can check the guidelines and enter your state for more specific guidance. Youll need to do some legwork if you want to enroll in health insurance.

    But getting health insurance is worth the legwork. Unexpected medical bills can eat into your savings, especially when you dont have regular income coming in. The federal site can also tell you if you qualify for savings on your premiums.

    Note that some states have their own health insurance marketplaces. If you live in one of the following states or the District of Columbia, youll use a state-based exchange to enroll in health insurance during special enrollment:

    • California
    • Vermont
    • Washington

    These states also set their own deadlines for open enrollment anyway. And sometimes, like during a global pandemic, these exchanges may have a special enrollment available for everyone, not just those who qualify based on life events. If you live in one of these states or D.C., check your states marketplace for more info on enrollment.

    Cant afford major medical coverage or missed the deadline for a special enrollment period? Dont worry. You may still be able to get health insurance.

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    You Have Paid Ei Premiums

    If you are employed in insurable employment, your employer will deduct EI premiums from your wages or salary. These premiums go into the EI Fund. There is no minimum or maximum age for paying EI premiums.

    You pay EI premiums on all your earnings up to a maximum amount. In 2020, for every $100 you earn, your employer will deduct $1.58, until your annual earnings reach the maximum yearly insurable amount of $54,200. The maximum amount of premiums to be paid in 2020 is therefore $856.36.

    Since Quebec has its own program that offers maternity, paternity, and parental benefits, the Government of Canada has adjusted the premiums accordingly for that province. In 2020, the premium rate for workers in Quebec is set at $1.20 for every $100 of earnings, up to a maximum amount of $650.40 for the year.

    Health Coverage Options For The Unemployed

    Health Insurance While 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.

    Federal Health Care Reform Resources


    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


    At the current time, you may buy individual plans on the Federal Exchange at or directly from a licensed agent/broker or insurance carrier selling in Oklahoma.


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