Health Insurance for Unemployed : Available Options
When you lose your job a lot of the privileges, you previously enjoyed are curtailed. Your health insurance cover will most likely be lost with the job. Health insurance is not a privilege but more so a primary requirement for survival. Health insurance is expensive especially when you are out of a job. Since medical emergencies can occur in an unprecedented fashion, it is important that you have a health plan in place at all times to provide medical cover for your family. Below you will find some options on health insurance for unemployed.
COBRA Health Insurance for Unemployed
This health insurance program for the unemployed was created under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The Act provides that once an employee is laid off they can continue to enjoy medical cover under the previous employer’s group medical cover. The unemployed individual will have to contribute a combined premium of what the employer used to contribute together with their part of the contribution and an additional administration fee. This provision is vital in creating continuity in healthcare coverage especially in cases where the laid off employee or a member of their family has a preexisting condition that would make it difficult in getting individual or family medical cover.
The premiums paid under COBRA are quite substantial and may even be higher than some marketplace insurance products. Initially, in the height of the financial meltdown in 2008 a subsidy of up to 65% was provided but has since lapsed. Unemployed individuals get a minimum of 18 months continued group cover after which the insurance company can provide an individual insurance plan for them.
Medicaid Health Insurance for Unemployed
Medicaid is a health insurance program availed to US citizens that satisfy the set thresholds. This program caters for millions of Americans whose income level is within the set federal poverty level. Families, seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities all qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid guidelines may vary from state to state, so it is advisable to contact the local health department to enquire about your eligibility.
CHIP Health Insurance Cover for Unemployed
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or affordable insurance cover for children in low income families. Different states have different requirements for eligibility, application and renewal of CHIP insurance cover. As every state designs its own CHIP program, you will find that there is a difference in terms of the premiums paid, if any, the cost sharing ratio and the benefits provided. It is recommended that low income earners and the unemployed apply for CHIP insurance cover and see if they are eligible.
Other solutions for Health Insurance cover for Unemployed
Unemployed individuals under the age of 26 can still be covered under their parents’ medical cover under the Healthcare Reform Bill. Temporary individual cover is also a great way of creating insurance cover continuity while in between jobs.