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Some people avoid going to the doctor unless they are absolutely sure that they have to go. Others realize the need for an annual check-up with or without any serious reason early on. Going for a regular checkup is a good idea when you have adequate insurance to cover the cost of medical service.
In fact, as you age, there is a need to get a full physical exam every two years. Have your cholesterol checked every three years. Get your blood pressure checked for stroke, heart disease, hypertension or other issues during those checkups. You also need to get an eye exam every couple of years, so is the need for a dental checkup. In addition to all these, women should have a mammogram, pelvic exam and a pap test every year or so. But how will all these checkups be possible when you don’t have an insurance due to job loss or can’t afford to have one?
What options are available?
If you do not have a job, or your job does not cover your insurance, there are a few health insurance options you can look into below. The fundamental issue with unemployed health insurance plans is whether or not it covers your situation. Note that there is no one perfect plan that can cover all your needs and that every plan has its own advantages and drawbacks.
Private Health Insurance
Certain communities and groups offer their own insurance plans to members and residents. These plans are affiliated to local hospitals and clinics in the area. They may come with low premiums and inexpensive medical treatments if you are lucky. Such community plans may not cover expensive treatments if you miss payments or do not share your portion of the expenses with others.
Government Health Insurance
If you have lost job recently or been unemployed for many years, you may qualify to receive Medicaid - a government assistance program for people who are below the poverty line. So, if you are not covered under any family members, and are eligible through Medicaid, make sure to learn the specifics pertaining to your state. The rule of thumb is, anyone living below the poverty line automatically qualifies for Medicaid. There are also subsidies available through this assistance program that you can utilize.
Medicare is provided and administered by the Social Security Administration and designed for those who are 65 years of age or older. If you are one of them, you can qualify for Medicare health insurance with no job. You may also be eligible for Medicare while receiving Social Security benefits or suffering from certain diseases.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
COBRA is not for everyone. But if you are unemployed and previously had this plan through your ex-employer, you are mostly eligible to continue having all the coverage under it. Young adults under their parent’s COBRA plan can also continue having the coverage that COBRA offers. This is one of the viable health insurance options for those who have lost their jobs and are undergoing treatments for their illnesses.
However, beware that these plans are not inexpensive and can take a huge chunk of your savings if not careful. The premiums might increase or stay the same depending on your medical expenses. The term for this plan is also limited when you become unemployed or are transitioning between jobs.
Family Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act can be really affordable for people who are unemployed. Marketplace plans offer various health insurance options from dozens of healthcare providers. Additionally, the government offers huge subsidies that cover the cost of premium, deductibles and medical expenses. There are multiple tiers to choose from depending on your affordability, needs, and availability.
College Health Insurance
College-bound kids and young adults can utilize this low-cost health insurance. The plans under this category are very affordable and cover most medical treatments and expenses. They are offered in colleges and universities the individual is enrolled in, and it’s easier to get one.
Other Health Insurance Options
Certain unemployed health insurance plans are designed with high deductibles. These plans are also designed for those who are otherwise healthy but need insurance in case of unpredictable catastrophic events. Getting a high deductible health plan is a smart choice and a great way to maintain low-cost health insurance with no job. When these plans are combined with HSA, you can save even more and spend very little as premium.
If you are unemployed due to a job-related injury, unemployed and has been injured previously at a job site, the employer is obligated to provide you with adequate medical insurance coverage through the Worker’s Compensation program. This means any plan that you previously had while working will continue to cover your medical treatments and expenses.
Issues With Short-Term Health Insurance Coverage
Short-term unemployed health insurance plans cover an individual for the short term only, which is typically a six month period or till the person gets a new job if he or she is unemployed. These are expensive but can come to your rescue when you need time to think about other health insurance options.