employer-sponsored health insurance covers the largest number of working-age people in the us. But the loss of a job with health insurance coverage puts a person in a bind when it comes to maintaining coverage. Fortunately, there are multiple options available for those who are unemployed and need health insurance while they work to find employment.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has special enrollment periods for those who have lost their jobs, existing coverage can continue for a period of time, and there are government-sponsored health care programs that offer comprehensive coverage. You may be wondering “how much does health insurance cost without a job?”, especially since adding a cost during a period of unemployment can strain your budget. how much you pay depends on the type of health care coverage you qualify for.
Keep reading to learn more about getting health insurance without a job and what to expect from the various options available to you after job loss.
cobra gets its name from the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It was introduced in 1985 and allows people to keep employer-sponsored health insurance after certain circumstances, such as a change in their own job status or the loss of a spouse or parent’s job.
events that qualify for cobra eligibility include
The above options are examples that may qualify you for paid coverage. You will normally have 60 days to decide whether or not to opt out of your Cobra benefits. however, as you research how to get good health insurance without a job, you’ll find that collect health insurance coverage can be expensive because you pay the entire premium. You may be able to apply tax credits to your cobra coverage if your employer didn’t pay at least 50% of the premium, but you may prefer to take advantage of the special enrollment period for a Marketplace plan.
medicaid, medicare and chip
These three programs are federal programs that are administered at the federal and state levels. eligibility for these programs depends on your age and circumstances.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older. If you are unemployed and at least 65 years old, you can apply for Medicare Parts A and B. Supplemental health insurance plans are available and fill in gaps in Medicare coverage.
Medicaid is a federal program administered at the state level. You must have income and assets below your state’s maximum income limit to qualify. check with your state’s medicaid program for more information on how to qualify.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a federal program for families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford a health care policy. chipping is also administered at the state level, and cost and coverage vary from state to state. however, all states offer comprehensive health care for children, including eyeglasses, immunizations, dental and vision care, emergency services, and more.
ACA-compliant plans, also known as Obamacare plans, are another option you have if you make too much money each year to qualify for Medicaid or Chip.
You may be able to afford health insurance without a job through the health insurance marketplace and exchanges and by taking advantage of advance premium tax credits. Advance Premium Tax Credits are available to anyone earning up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). the federal poverty level is $13,590 for a person in 2021, and 400% is $54,360. You may still qualify for a premium subsidy as the American Bailout Plan Act (ARPA) removed the subsidy cliff until 2025. What this means is that someone earning 400% FPL can still lower their premium cost. through the credit premium tax.
an individual and a family of four earning less than $54,000 and $111,000 respectively are eligible for tax credits
ACA compliant plans must cover 10 basic benefits:
- Care before and after the birth of a child
- Preventive visits
- Outpatient services
- Emergency room visits
- inpatient medical (hospital care)
- prescription drugs
- mental health and substance use disorder services
- laboratory services
- pediatric services, including and vision care
- rehabilitative and facilitative services
individual private medical insurance
Individual private health insurance is a plan that is purchased from a non-government exchange. Buying on a private exchange, like eHealth, allows you to have more variety in your coverage options. You’ll also have the option to purchase ACA-compliant plans, and you’ll even be able to apply for subsidies through ehealth by proxy.
Please note that since ARPA expanded the requirements for subsidies, you may now be eligible for assistance even if you weren’t before. Under the new rules, members now pay no more than 8.5% of their income for their insurance coverage, which has been reduced from almost 10% under the previous limits.
short-term medical insurance
Short-term health insurance is a type of limited health insurance coverage that lasts for a few months. can be used at times when you can’t get another type of plan and your job loss doesn’t qualify you for a special enrollment period under aca. You can get a short-term health insurance policy that lasts as long as you need, as long as it’s less than a year in duration. The most common use of this type of plan is to fill a gap in coverage until open enrollment for ACA plans begins.
catastrophic insurance plans
Catastrophic insurance plans provide coverage when you have a serious health problem, such as an unexpected illness or accident, but do not provide routine medical care outside of preventive care and cover a minimum of three primary care visits. You must meet your deductible through out-of-pocket costs before the plan pays for routine care. Catastrophic insurance plans often have high deductibles, but this can work in your favor if you’re just looking for coverage for an unexpected health event.
join a family member’s plan
You may be eligible to join a family member’s plan as long as you qualify for inclusion. A family member can add their spouse and children under the age of 26 to their existing plan. Dependents can be added as long as you claim them as dependents on your taxes, and a spouse can be added up to 60 days after marriage. you can also add family members who are dependents.
How can I get health insurance without a job?
49 percent of us. uu. population receives employer-sponsored health insurance
Group insurance through an employer may be the most common way to get health coverage, with half of the US population receiving employer-sponsored health insurance, but it’s not the only one. If you’re unemployed, a special enrollment period (SEP) allows you to enroll in an individual or family health plan within 60 days. Other events that could make you eligible for separation include:
- change your marital status
- have a baby (or adopt a child)
- become a US citizen
- move to an area where your current plan is not offered
- lose your employer’s health insurance
once you enter your sep, you can purchase unemployed health insurance on the exchange offered by your state or through a licensed broker such as ehealth. If you choose a plan that complies with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may qualify for subsidies if you can’t pay for your health plan on your own. With increases in subsidies due to the ARPA, more people qualify for subsidies than ever before.
how to get health insurance without a job: frequently asked questions
How can I get health care without insurance and income?
If you can’t afford health insurance and can’t qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, you can go to a community health center in your area. Community health care centers provide health care on a sliding scale and charge you what you can afford.
Can I cancel my market plan after I get a job?
Yes, you can cancel your Marketplace plan once you get a job that offers health insurance. There is no open enrollment period for employers, and you can cancel your Marketplace plan once you enroll and get a start date for your health insurance plan offered by your employer.
find the right insurance plan with ehealth
If you’ve encountered a change in employment, ehealth can help you find the best health insurance plan available in your state. We offer licensed agents in every state, ready to help you find a health insurance plan that meets your needs and budget. When you enroll in a plan through eHealth, you can enroll on our website, through our live chat, or by phone. Once you’re enrolled, we offer 24/7 support to help you manage your plan. check individual and family health insurance plans in your area to learn more about your options.