Times are hard right now, and the last thing you want is to get sick without health care coverage. But if you’ve been recently laid off, employer-sponsored healthcare isn’t an option for you anymore. Meanwhile, paying for COBRA coverage feels almost criminally expensive when you don’t have income coming in.
So what are you supposed to do?
You don’t have to feel lost, overwhelmed, or confused. Here I’ll go over some ways to find affordable health insurance — whether for the long-term or until your next job.
1. Take advantage of your special enrollment period
When you lose coverage after a layoff, you’re qualified to enter the health insurance marketplace for a certain period of time (called a special enrollment period), even if open enrollment has already ended. This gives you 60 days to sign up for a new healthcare plan through another provider.
You may also be eligible for a subsidy (or a larger one, if you’re already receiving a subsidy).
On the other hand, if you qualify, you may also be able to apply for Medicaid through your state office. Eligibility is based on your monthly income, rather than your total annual income, so this is another great option to explore if you’re worried about your health insurance coverage during the pandemic.
Another bit of great news: If you originally signed up for coverage through COBRA, you may still be able to switch to a new health plan from the Marketplace.
To find out what plans and savings you qualify for, create an account and fill out the Marketplace application.
2. Look into short-term coverage options
Short-term coverage is designed to support you in certain healthcare situations until you get your benefits back, usually through a new employer-sponsored health insurance plan. These plans differ greatly between providers, so you’ll want to make certain of what kind of coverage you’ll be receiving before you take the plunge.
These plans will usually provide some level of coverage in the following areas:
- Preventative care
- Urgent care
- Emergency care
- Doctor visits
However, these plans typically do not cover pre-existing conditions, which means that this option is best for healthy people. If you are currently dealing with chronic illness, this coverage will not be the best fit for you.
You may also find that these short-term options are more expensive than the plans you’d usually purchase elsewhere. Combine that with the limited coverage on some plans, and you may find that you want to focus your efforts in finding an affordable healthcare plan through the open marketplace instead.
Find affordable health insurance with Michael Melle
When you’re in need of affordable health insurance, you can turn to me and my team. I’ve spent the last 18 years of my life helping working individuals and families get the coverage they need — without spending a penny more than they have to.
During our first meeting, we’ll go over all of the things you need and want in your health insurance plan. From there, I’ll use this information to find the best options for your needs and budget.
To get started, fill out the form on my website to get in touch. Or, feel free to shop for insurance plans here.