Health Insurance

How to get health insurance without a job

Are you looking for ways on how to get health insurance without a job? If yes, then this article got you covered as we will be listing out a lot of ways to achieve this.

If you’re not employed with a company that provides benefits, or if you are a job-seeker whose benefits have expired, you may be wondering how to get health insurance. It’s an important concern for many people, and it can become even more urgent in certain circumstances. Perhaps you’ve recently quit your job to take care of an ailing parent or because of some personal crisis in your life. Or perhaps you are unable to find suitable employment as a result of the weak job market, which has left many workers out of work for extended periods of time. Fortunately, there are ways to get health insurance without having a job.

Getting health insurance can be tricky if you’re unemployed. In these situations, it can feel like you have very few options. However, there are a number of different ways to get access to affordable health insurance that won’t break the bank.

If you are unemployed and looking for work, you may qualify for one of several different programs designed to help those in your position make ends meet until you find a new job. If you aren’t actively searching for work but know that being unemployed makes getting affordable healthcare difficult, there are still other options. Finding the right plan for your situation will take some research and planning, but with the right information, you’ll be well on your way to getting the coverage you need.

Many insurers require you to prove that you have been continuously insured for at least the last 12 months in order to qualify for coverage. If you’ve fallen out of the workplace and haven’t kept your insurance current, it might seem impossible to get affordable health insurance. However, there are ways to get affordable health insurance as a jobless worker or home caregiver without COBRA benefits that allow you to keep your old job plan or employee benefits for another year after leaving your job. Here’s how you can get cheap health insurance without a job.

Having health insurance is important — so much so that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made it a requirement for almost everyone. Affordable Care Act (ACA) opened up new opportunities for people to get health insurance, but it’s also made things more challenging if you don’t have a job. For example, some people who aren’t employed can no longer be listed as dependents on their parents’ health plan. These changes make finding an affordable health insurance plan when you don’t have a job more complex than ever before.

Unless you’re willing to pay the penalty, you need to get insured if you’re an adult and not covered by another plan. If you’ve recently left your job or been let go, getting new health insurance can be difficult. Fortunately, there are ways around this problem and options that aren’t just limited to COBRA plans and other employee benefits.

To know more how to get health insurance without a job, keep reading.

 

How to get health insurance without a job

Since you are unemployed, you can no longer enjoy the health benefits employers gives their employees, you might be thinking of other options. Well, there are lots of ways to get you a health insurance coverage. If you’re willing to give up some financial security in the process, there are alternatives that may be a better fit for you than going without coverage.

These types of plans can be beneficial for someone who doesn’t have access to affordable healthcare or is transitioning from one period of their life to another. Here are some different ways that you can get health insurance if you don’t have job-based coverage.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

COBRA was signed by President Ronald Reagan of the United States into law in 1985. The COBRA law helps employees to continue receiving the health insurance coverage after leaving the job.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, commonly known as COBRA, is your best option for a health insurance company if you lost your job or are unemployed. COBRA is a health insurance company that offers healthcare services to people.

Employers are required by the federal government law through COBRA to let their former employees enjoy the benefit of Job-based insurance coverage for more than 18 months after they have left the job. The federal government law applies to companies with 20 or more employees, but some states in the United States have a law for smaller employees.

Previously everyone who worked in a company before leaving where eligible for this entitlement but recently, only those who lost their jobs involuntarily are covered by this law. After losing your employer’s coverage, you have just 60 days to go and sign for COBRA.

After qualifying for the COBRA, your coverage only lasts 18 months which will start counting after you lose your job-based insurance. For instance, if you lost your job in march 2022, your COBRA coverage will expire in August 2023.

Who qualifies for COBRA;

If you experience any of the below listed, you are eligible for COBRA.

  • Death of a covered employee
  • Job loss: If you lost your job in a company where the employer pays the health insurance bills of their employees, COBRA law would cover you for the first 18 months before you get a job.
  • Reduction in work hours that leads to a loss in coverage
  • When the employee is entitled to Medicare
  • Separation or divorce from a covered employee

Unlike your former employee, that pays part of your premium and leaves the rest to you, COBRA takes charge of the full bill. One good thing that COBRA offers is that your previous health insurance plan and coverage will be the same.

Pros

  • COBRA, though the federal law, requires the employer to keep paying their employee’s insurance policy even after they lose the job.
  • You maintain the same plan like the one your previous employer paid
  • COBRA is retroactive. In essence, you have to sign up within the first 60 days you lose your job-based health insurance.
  • COBRA saves you money that would have been used for health insurance
  • Children, spouses, or former spouses are eligible

Cons

  • COBRA gives a limited time of 18 to 36 months
  • You cant access the COBRA plan if more than 60 days you lost your job-based health insurance.
  • You pay a high premium for the COBRA plan.
  • COBRA network is limited, so you cant get it everywhere in the United States.

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Medicaid

Medicaid is a health insurance company that offers people with limited income healthcare plans in the United States. Both the federal and state government sponsors this program to see that everyone gets health insurance, even those who can’t afford it. Medicaid offers benefits to it’s customers, such as personal care services and nursing homes. Unlike Medicare, which only provides healthcare plans for the elderly, Medicaid provides healthcare plans for low-income earners or those without employment.

In the United States, Medicaid is the biggest health insurance company that provides healthcare and medical insurance for unemployed and low-income earners. It was founded in 1982 and ever since had been offering comprehensive health insurance services to it’s clients.

In 2017, Medicaid offered free health insurance to 74 million people in the United States (23% of the country’s population), which comprised people without jobs, low-income earners, and disabled people. In 2019, Medicaid also paid for 50% of all births in the United States.

In most cases, Medicaid offers free health insurance to those who qualify. Clients who qualify for the free Medicaid health insurance won’t have to pay for premiums, copayments, and deductibles.

Who qualifies for Medicaid health insurance?

Since it is sponsored by both the state and federal governments, the services in each state differ in the qualification processes. You must meet up with the guidelines listed below to be eligible.

  • Pregnant women and children: even if their household income is above the federal poverty level, pregnant women and children are still eligible.
  • Unemployed individuals: People without jobs are eligible for Medicaid as long as they have few assets
  • Adults above the age of 65 are eligible as long as they are low-income earners and have few assets.

Pros

  • Medicaid offers free healthcare plans to policyholders
  • As a policyholder in Medicaid, you get benefits that include home nursing, physician visits, etc.

Cons

  • Medicaid has limited coverage
  • They have a limited healthcare provider

 

Affordable Care Act Subsidy

Affordable Care Act, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and also known as the Obamacare, is a health insurance act signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The Affordable Care Act subsidies are credits given to people whose net income falls between 100% to 400% of the United States Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

This Act was established to help unemployed, and low-income earners have a healthcare plan by providing government subsidies to them. Over 24 million US residents who did have a health plan in 2016 were covered by the Affordable Care. The ACA covers the monthly premium of those qualified for this subsidy.

How the Affordable Care Act Subsidy works

You get a health insurance plan and place it to the ACA once you are qualified for the subsidy. The subsidy given to you can only be used to purchase the Obamacare health insurance, which is sold through the ACA health insurance exchange, also called the marketplace.

The subsidy given cannot be used to purchase an insurance plan from another health insurance company. The ACA will take care of 50% of your monthly premium and allow you to take care of the rest.

Who qualifies for the Affordable Care Act Subsidy?

  • People whose net income is below 400% of the federal poverty level
  • If you are unemployed, you no longer have a net income which makes you eligible
  • Some regions determine if you will qualify for this subsidy even if your net income is above the federal poverty level
  • Those whose benchmark is below 8.5% of your income.

Pros

  • Subsidies provided offer financial help to unemployed residents
  • Health insurance has become more affordable for many people
  • Drugs and prescriptions cost less

 

Cons

  • You can be fined if you don’t have a health plan.
  • The ACA subsidy is one of the reason taxes increases
  • Employers are cutting employees’ hours to avoid covering them.

 

Short Term Health Insurance

Short-term insurance refers to a health insurance plan with a limited time, mostly within a year. This health plan was established to help people who are in temporal need of a health insurance plan. For instance, those who are unemployed can make use of the short-term plan until they get a job that covers their health bill.

The short-term plan is less expensive than the long-term plan but has a limited duration for health care plans. Most insurance companies don’t accept the short-term plan unless those in the Affordable Care Act. People who use this healthcare plan are given adequate coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

In some states in America, the short-term plan lasts for up to 364 days of coverage. At the same time, some are sold for up t0 36 months, while some states don’t allow the sale of the short-term health insurance plan.

Who qualifies for the Short term plan?

If your insurer thinks you to be a risk to cover, you will get turned down for the short-term plan. On the other hand, if you are not seen as a risk and are healthy and young, you are likely to be considered for this healthcare plan.

How does the short term plan work

The short-term insurance plan is less expensive than the comprehensive plan, but it doesn’t offer discounts or benefits as the comprehensive plan does.

In a short-term plan, essential health benefits like maternity care and mental health are not covered. The plan doesn’t also provide drug prescription coverage to it’s clients.

The short-term plan doesn’t cover any pre-existing medical issues.

Pros

  • It offers lower monthly premiums
  • It is easy to get
  • The short term plan is flexible

Cons

  • It has limited coverage
  • Doesn’t cover pre-existing medical issues
  • It has high deductibles
  • No subsidies are available

 

Conclusion

You no longer need to work at an organization or company in order to get health insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there are many options available to you. You can now get affordable health insurance even if you’re unemployed and without a job. If you’re currently unemployed, have recently lost your job, or another circumstance has left you without the ability to work and earn benefits from an employer or human resource department, you should know that there are other ways of getting affordable health insurance so that you can continue living a healthy life.

There are many options for people who don’t have access to group health insurance coverage through a job. Depending on your budget and needs, there are several programs available that might be suitable for your situation.