Affordable health insurance for the unemployed may feel impossible to find, but as long as you know where to look and have determination it is within your reach. Actually, self-employed individuals and individuals who are employed but aren’t offered employer-sponsored group health insurance can benefit from the much of the same advice.
The first step to finding affordable health insurance for the unemployed is to find out if you’re eligible for COBRA. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) made it possible for individuals who are terminated, laid off, or transferring jobs to temporarily continue to receive group health insurance benefits. So, if you’ve just recently become unemployed for any of those reasons, referred to as “qualifying events,” contact your former employer for more information about your COBRA benefits.
The second step to finding affordable health insurance for the unemployed is to check into purchasing short-term health insurance. Short-term health insurance policies are designed with the unemployed person in mind, so rates are most likely within your budget. They can last anywhere from six to 12 months, so they’re perfect for individuals who are actively seeking employment or another form of affordable health insurance.
The third step to finding affordable health insurance for the unemployed is to contact your state’s department of insurance and request information about subsidiaries for which you’re eligible. Most states provide some form of free or low-cost health coverage for residents who meet certain income requirements. Some states even have special low-cost health insurance plans for people who can’t otherwise obtain health insurance. At the very least, you should find a free or low-cost health coverage program that will provide health care for your children, or assistance with special health care needs (i.e. diabetes, mental health, female health check-ups and conditions, etc.)
A change in your employment status doesn’t mean a change in your health needs. It may take some footwork, but it’s possible to find affordable health insurance for the unemployed.