covid-19-health-insurance-options

What to do if you lost your health insurance during COVID-19

It is no secret that COVID-19 has had catastrophic effects on the lives of people as well as entire economies around the world. Many people have found their lives upended due to the pandemic. People have lost their jobs and homes, and many cannot see a secure future in sight. 

Similarly, in counties and states across America, the social and economical conditions of governments and citizens seem to be worsening since no one can determine for certain when this worldwide pandemic will wane.

Unemployment has reached record heights 

As a result of COVID-19, many businesses, regardless of their size, have been forced o reduce, cease, or entirely shut down their operations. Subsequently, as many as 47 million people, according to the officials of the Federal Reserve, have filed for unemployment. This means that not only have millions of people around the country lost their jobs, but many who depended on employers for health insurance have also, unfortunately, lost health insurance coverage

Are you a victim of the devastating socio-economic effects of COVID-19?

If you have landed on this article, it is likely that you, like many other Americans, have fallen victim to this tsunami of unemployment, and you are unsure of what the future holds for you. Undoubtedly, your mind is perhaps racing with questions about how to make up for lost health insurance coverage that has resulted from you losing your jobs. Maybe you are looking into what kind of health insurance options are available for you, and you want to know how you can register for these facilities. Or still yet, maybe you want to know if you are eligible for a special and specific type of help that you can benefit from in these bleak times.

To make this process easier for you and save you some time and worry, we have taken to compile a list of all the possible options you can avail of to get some semblance of stability and security for the future back into your life. 

So what are your options?

The following comprehensive contains all the likely options that you can select from. These include COBRA coverage or coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as some other, more specific alternatives. So read on for a quick rundown of COBRA and ACA coverage, and some guidelines as to how you can find the plan that best works for your exact needs:

COBRA Coverage

Say you have lost your job due to large scale layoffs that took place in the organization you worked for, but the organization itself is still continuing operations. Under such circumstances, you may be eligible to extend your health insurance coverage on account of an employer-sponsored plan, regulated by federal law, which more commonly is referred to as COBRA. COBRA coverage makes it possible for you to fund your health insurance coverage from your own pocket under the same plan that you had when you were an employee for the business; for a period of about 18 months. 

However, the catch with COBRA coverage is that it can be a bit costly for you. This is because, in the time that you were employed, you were funding your health insurance coverage with little more than a percentage of your total monthly premium, while the rest was taken care of by your employer. With COBRA coverage, on the other hand, you are solely responsible for paying the entire premium on your own. 

Coverage under the Affordable Care Act

The other alternative to the COBRA coverage is the option of purchasing an individual or group health insurance plan for your family on your own. This can be done under the rules laid out by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

In the case of the affordable care act, you will usually be required to wait for the enrollment period each year that opens up in the fall so that you can sign a new health insurance plan. However, in the case of lost health insurance coverage that was covered by your employer, your case will be considered a “qualifying life event” which will allow for a 60-day window to enroll.

To see what fits you best, you can shop around for group health insurance for your family or individual health insurance coverage using an insurance marketplace run by your state government. In addition to the state-run marketplace, you can look up your options on an online marketplace, or you can hire the services of an insurance broker to help your compare plans directly from insurance companies and find the perfect plan for you or your family. 

If you are going to be going it alone and conducting the research into health insurance plans and providers on your own, maybe the following tips can be of some help to you  

  • Compare health insurance plans on the market- this will help you make sure you find the best plan to not only fit your exact needs but also not exceed your budgetary allowances. As mentioned above, you can enlist the services of insurance brokers or insurance brokerage agencies 
  • Look for plans that provide coverage for your prescriptions and preferred doctors- when selecting a plan, make sure it covers the doctors you would like to continue seeing and that will cover the drugs you need to manage a condition or illness you or a member of your family has
  • Check if you are eligible for government subsidies to help make coverage affordable– if your annual household income is below a certain level, you may qualify for subsidies that can help you new plan be more affordable for you
  • If you’re under age 30, consider a “catastrophic” plan– these are health insurance plans that will cover most of the basic benefits of other ACA plans. Moreover, these plans are slightly more affordable. The only downsides to these plans are that they have higher deductibles attached to them and you cannot avail of help for government subsidies to make them more affordable.  

As there seems to be no end to this economic and public health crisis, now is a time as good as any to make sure your health and future are secured. If you find that you do not qualify for either of the options we have mentioned in this article, look into Medicaid, for which you might be eligible if you check some specific boxes. To get more details on Medicaid and whether you qualify for Medicaid, you can contact the Department of Insurance in your state.

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