Health insurance is not only nice to have – it is important for your family's well-being. If you are between jobs, you have several options for maintaining health coverage until you start a new position. This law gives workers who lose or leave their jobs the right to continue group health benefits for a limited time – 18 months after leaving the job. The disadvantage of COBRA is the cost. You must cover the entire premium yourself, except for a small administrative fee.
You qualify for the special registration period for up to 60 days after you have lost employer-supported health coverage. This means that you can buy and sign up for a new plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. During the application process, you can find out if you are eligible for federal financial aid (tax premium credits, reduced cost sharing).
If your spouse has employer-sponsored health insurance, the best option may be to add that plan. The life event to lose your job will qualify you for the special registration period, so you do not have to wait for open registration. Group plans are usually cheaper than COBRA or individual insurance, but the quality of coverage can vary considerably.
Short-term health plan
This is an inexpensive way to fill the gap between employers' health plans. In some states, you can have a short-term plan for one year and extend it twice, for a total of three years. Other states limit short-term health plans to three or six months or do not allow them at all. The disadvantages of this option include limited coverage and higher deductibles. If you live in a state that does not allow for short-term plans, it is not an option at all.
Health Saving Account (HSA)
If you paid into an HSA before leaving your last job, the funds will still be available to you. You can use your health savings account to pay for eligible medical expenses. This can help you reduce your healthcare costs while you are between jobs.
Medicaid is a health coverage tool designed for low income earners and families. This option may or may not be available, depending on your income and where you live. In many states, you can qualify for Medicaid with an income of up to $ 35,000 per year for a family of four. This is a low cost option with minimal spending on own money. One disadvantage is that not all caregivers accept Medicaid. Income requirements are another disadvantage.
Our agent can help
If you are leaving a job, find out when your health coverage ends so you know when your new coverage will begin. If you are planning to start a new job, find out when your health coverage begins. You may only need to fill the gap for a short period of time. Our experienced agent can help you find the best and most affordable option to keep your health coverage while you are between jobs.