Health Insurance Options for the Unemployed

Dealing with the possibility of unemployment is bad enough. Not having any income is very stressful, since you have no money coming in.

Further complicating matters is the loss of any associated benefits, which often includes health insurance. However, there are options, and knowing the best health insurance for the unemployed means you have a chance at getting great coverage even when you’re out of work and looking for gainful employment.

When you lose your job, you have several options in terms of health insurance to cover you while you are unemployed. The federal COBRA program will likely contact you through the mail, letting you maintain your current healthcare if you shoulder the full burden of the costs involved with the plan. This lets you keep the coverage you have at the end of your employment, but it can also be very expensive.

In most cases of unemployment, you’ll wind up with a special window to get coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace. This window is usually only open for 60 days when it’s not the yearly period for open enrollment taking place from November through December. However, you can peruse many different plans available through the exchanges, and depending on your income level in a previous tax year, you might even qualify for credits that might apply towards your premiums. Some people do this and wind up paying only $20 a month for their health insurance.

Short-term private insurance is another way to go. These policies aren’t usually as comprehensive as full health insurance coverage, as they’re more akin to catastrophic coverage options. However, they can cover you until the end of the calendar year to some degree, or at least until you find another job.

You should note that some states ban short-term insurance policies, considering them ‘junk’ insurance that aren’t worth the time and money. There is also technically a federal mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance coverage at all times, lest they face a penalty when they file their taxes. This penalty is not really enforced all that much, given the court lawsuits and politics involved with it. Having said that, going without health insurance for any length of time is a risky move.