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How To Keep Health Insurance After Being Laid Off

If you become a victim of being laid off from your job, you will have a myriad number of scenarios run through your mind.  And, with the current state of the world and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, your health insurance is probably right at the top of the list.

According to data collected and posted to the website Healthcare Bluebook, the current average doctor visit lasting only thirty minutes can cost the patient over $200. The data also showed that suffering from a broken leg can run $7500, and a three-day hospital stay can run a whopping $30,000.  If you do not have adequate insurance coverage, these costs could come out of your pocket and cause a financial strain.

If you find that you have been laid off or issued a leave, you will want to know what your options are for keeping and maintaining your health insurance coverage.  Check out the information below to better understand your options.

COBRA

COBRA may be your best option if you have a savings account or a reliable income.  At today's rates,the average insured individual can pay up to $610 per month for coverage, with the average family spending $1750 per month. Depending on your particular circumstances, your costs could go higher or lower.  If you have an HSA (healthsavings account), HRA (health reimbursement agreement), or an IRA (individualretirement account), you may have the option to draw on one of these types of funds for coverage of your COBRA premiums. Unfortunately, if your employer goes out of business, you will not be offered coverage by COBRA.

Medicaid

Medicaid is health insurance for the public offered by the individual state governments.  It was created for those individuals and families to receive low-cost, and in some cases free, medical coverage.  The eligibility for Medicaid is based on the individual's post-layoff monthly income.  Even if you do not personally fall within the eligibility requirements for Medicaid, your children or any woman pregnant within the household may.

The benefits of Medicaid vary by state but most often include:

-         Management of conditions of a chronic nature such as diabetes and asthma

-         Prescriptions at low to no cost

-         Mental health services

-         Medical transport for doctor visits

Unlike the marketplace, enrollment for Medicaid is available year-round.

Marketplace

The Marketplace is health insurance subsidized by the government for those individuals on a low income.  In most cases, if you are unable to meet theeligibility for Medicaid, you will be eligible for coverage through the marketplace.  Many individuals in the marketplace reportedly have no monthly premium and those that do pay very little.  The marketplace has a deadline though, stating that you must apply for new coverage within sixty days afteryour previous coverage has ended.

Short Term Plans

For those experiencing a temporary gap in their health insurance coverage, there is STLD – short-term limited duration –insurance.  This type of policy is not renewable and is designed for those workers who find themselves temporarily displaced.  Most short-term plans are much more affordable than a standard comprehensive plan. Keep in mind that short-term plans do not cover any form of pre-existing conditions, prescription drugs, preventative care, maternity care, or mental health care.

If you find yourself laid off from your job and suddenly displaced, do not despair.  There are options available to ensure continued health insurance coverage.  You just have to do your research and due diligence in finding them.  If you find the task daunting, consider reaching out to an insurance broker for assistance.  The right broker will be able to help you find a policy that meets your needs and will guide you through the steps of the enrollment process.

Here at Savvi, our mission is to help people take the stress out of buying health insurance in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids.  Feel confident by knowing that you'll have the absolute best plan that fits your lifestyle & budget. We look forward to working with you.