More than 6.65 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits over the last week alone – a bleak result of the Coronavirus pandemic. But those impacted aren’t just losing their jobs: They’re often losing their health insurance benefits too.
And now is the time, especially, when health insurance may be extra crucial to you as you work to maintain good health or need coverage if you do get sick. Before weighing your options, take these steps:
If you’ve lost your job and job-based insurance coverage, here are six options for you:
You may be able to obtain coverage through your spouse’s job-based health insurance plan, as long as your spouse or partner is already covered, which can be a cost-effective option.
Ask your spouse to talk to his or her HR or benefits team to see if this is an option and what the associated healthcare costs may be for you.
You’ll likely receive a COBRA enrollment notice that includes information to continue your health insurance through your employer.
Though the 2020 open enrollment period has ended, losing your job may qualify you for a special enrolment period exception. You can see if you can get coverage for an ACA plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Note: U.S. officials are also considering a special enrollment period to help uninsured Americans during the COVID-19 crisis.
This type of temporary health insurance is designed to be a cost-effective and flexible insurance option if you’ve lost your job and have a gap in health insurance coverage.
Medicaid is based on your income, family size and asset level. Though each state can set its own requirements, the limit is typically 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.
If you do qualify for Medicaid, you’ll receive low-cost health insurance through your state which may cover you for:
Again, benefits vary by state. And Medicaid should not be confused with Medicare (here’s how to know the differences between the two).
Though telemedicine isn’t a form of insurance, it’s a helpful service that people are turning to during a time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. With telemedicine, you pay a monthly membership fee and, when you use the service, you may also pay a charge for the ‘televisit.’
Telemedicine connects you with virtual doctors who can diagnose and treat your non-emergency medical conditions, including:
Telemedicine doctors can also prescribe medications for certain conditions and submit the order to your pharmacy of choice. You can get a telemedicine quote with no obligation to you.
We will continue to provide educational resources to you throughout the Coronavirus pandemic:
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