You have lost your job.
There are so many things on your mind, from income to insurance.
How can you get health insurance? Is it possible to have health insurance without a job? Which option is best for your situation?
Keep reading to learn tips on how to get health insurance without a job:
1. Association Health Plans
Association health plans are when private groups of people come together to negotiate for health insurance as a unit. Looking into association groups that you could join that are looking for the same insurance coverage could be beneficial. This can be an affordable option for those that choose to be self-employed as their next job.
2. Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges
The Affordable Care Act’s medical plans are usually only open during special enrollment periods. This has changed in some states and others are expected to be added. Checking if your state is included could help you decide if this is an option that will work for your situation.
This act provides health insurance for unemployed workers and includes coverage on all of the essential health benefits. This includes preventative care, pregnancy care, prescriptions, mental health services, and much more.
3. A Part-Time Job With Health Benefits
Some employers offer health benefits to part-time employees that work 30 or fewer hours per week. This allows you to still have a form of health care while you search for your next full-time position. The part-time position could also turn into a full-time position with the company down the road.
This is a great option if there are part-time jobs available that you are able to work and the company offers health benefits.
4. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
This health plan option is best for those that are at low risk of needing medical care. As the name implies, this is a savings account that you put money into for healthcare needs. This plan is a low-cost option but has a high deductible, which is what you use the savings account to pay.
Once the deductible is met, the insurance will cover the remaining amount. These plans come with tax protections as well, which is another benefit of having this type of account.
5. If You Are Married, Use Your Spouse’s Plan
If you have a partner, its time to look into options with their health benefits. Most companies offer employer-sponsored health coverage for families and you could join the health plan. Their employer may offer better benefits even when you gain new employment, which would keep you on their plan long-term.
6. COBRA Gap Coverage
COBRA coverage is for employees that have recently lost their job. If a company has more than 20 employees, they are required to offer this option to their former employees. Through this act, you can pay to stay on their health care for up to 18 months after you have lost your job.
This option covers the gap time while you are searching for a new position and keeps you on the benefits that you previously had.
7. Use a Community Care Program
If you have a minor illness, some community health care centers offer free or low-cost care through their collaboration with the HRSA. This will allow you to get the treatment you need without having health insurance and avoid paying a large medical bill as a result. Finding a health care center that offers this option near you is important if you plan to use it in the future.
Medicaid offers free or subsidized health coverage to millions of people that are eligible low-income adults, children, elderly, pregnant, and those with disabilities. This is a great option if your income will be lower as a result of job loss or not having a job for a period of time. The state and federal governments jointly fund this in order to provide the low-cost option to those that need (and qualify) for it.
9. Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance is typically for coverage up to 12 months and some states will allow renewals. This is a good option if you anticipate you will have a new job within that time frame.
Another benefit of short-term health insurance is that there is no enrollment period, so you can enroll at any time. These plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. The plan is ideal for someone that needs minimal coverage for a temporary period of time before gaining new employment and a full-coverage plan.
10. Ask an Insurance Agent How to Get Health Insurance Without a Job
Speaking with a private insurance exchange can help you explore low-cost options for healthcare. There are several plans that do not meet the strict requirements of the ACA but could still offer a good health plan option for you. Speaking to someone that is familiar with these plans will help guide you to new options you may not have heard of.
Choose the Best Fit for You
Now that you know the options for how to get health insurance without a job, you can choose the best option for your situation. Depending on the anticipated length of your unemployment, you may have different options. Having the peace of mind that insurance is possible without a job will help you have a less stressful approach to your next job search.
Practicing self-care and healthy habits during a time of health insurance lapse is a way to help you stay out of the healthcare facilities as much as possible.