How to Get Health Insurance While Unemployed
Updated on 12/07/2022
If you’re an unemployed resident, you may be more worried about paying your rent, utility bills or car payments than finding health insurance. Many unemployed individuals search for a full-time job while trying to stay out of debt, and remain unconcerned with something like health insurance.
Keeping up with your finances when you’re unemployed can be difficult and complicated. However, having health insurance is a vital part of keeping you financially stable. If you or a family member unexpectedly gets sick or hurt, the hospital, medical, and prescription bills can be astronomical. Medical bills can have the potential to put you into debt for years to come.
Health insurance can help make medical costs cheaper and easier to handle. As an unemployed resident, you may have access to discounted health insurance that will help keep you healthy and financially secure while you transition to a new full-time job. Below are a few programs that may help you afford health insurance, even if you’re unemployed and not currently insured.
Learn About Marketplace Health Insurance Plans
If your income is low or you’re currently unemployed, shopping for health insurance through the Marketplace may be financially beneficial for you. The Marketplace offers tax breaks and discounts on health insurance plans for individuals who are on a tight budget, unemployed, or earn a low-income. The price of the health insurance plans is based on the number of people in your household and your yearly income. The health insurance Marketplace doesn’t take into consideration if you’re employed or not, so you can still qualify for low-cost coverage without a full-time job.
During regular health insurance enrollment periods, you can access the Marketplace website and input your household details and yearly income. The website will then display health insurance plans that you qualify for, so you can see your options. These health insurance plans will have different coverage options, so it’s important to review their details to make sure you choose a plan that suits you best. The Marketplace website will also take the details of your household and let you know if you qualify for Medicaid coverage. States are constantly expanding the reach of Medicaid, so it’s a good idea to keep checking back on the website to see if you can qualify for this program.
Learn About Medicaid
Medicaid is a great and affordable way to obtain health insurance. Many states have expanded their Medicaid program to cover low-income families. If you’re currently unemployed, your household may now qualify for Medicaid. Visit the health insurance Marketplace website and input your income level and household member details to see if you qualify for this program.
There is no specific enrollment period for the Medicaid program, so if you qualify for it, you can enroll immediately. Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for Medicaid, you should still look at options through the health insurance Marketplace website because often there are other health insurance savings plans or programs that you may qualify for instead. While these programs may not offer as much coverage as Medicaid, you can still receive a discount on health care services, which can be a lifesaver if you or a family member needs an expensive prescription drug or medical procedure.
About the Children’s Health Insurance Program
Often referred to as CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program is a good way to ensure your children’s health needs are covered, no matter how much income you’re bringing in. As an unemployed resident, your children may qualify for CHIP coverage. Most routine health checkups are free under CHIP coverage, but there may be copayments for other services or prescription drugs. If you qualify for CHIP, you can sign up for coverage at any time of the year and start receiving benefits immediately.
CHIP focuses on keeping children healthy and well by helping cover: doctor’s visits, prescriptions, immunizations, X-rays, dental visits, vision checkups, emergency services, and other health care requirements as needed. The monthly premium required for CHIP differs in every state and depends on the funds available for the state. If there is enough government funding, the state is able to offer CHIP to families at no cost. If the program requires a premium, families are never charged more than five percent of their annual income for coverage.
Health insurance may be the last thing on your mind as an unemployed resident. However, securing health insurance for you and your family can keep you out of a financial bind if a family member gets sick or injured. Healthcare costs can be astronomical and ruin your budget, especially if you’re unemployed and unable to pay for unforeseen costs. Don’t let the high costs of health care put you in debt and damage your credit for years to come. There are several low-cost health insurance options throughout the U.S. that will benefit low-income families. If you’re unemployed, review the health insurance programs above so you can get healthcare coverage for you and your family today.