Because the healthcare model in the United States is still based on employer provided benefits, those Americans who have lost their jobs have most likely lost their healthcare benefits at the same time. Many of these Americans will remain uninsured until they can safely go back to work. But there are options…
First one of course is COBRA. This is only available to those who did in fact have employer based insurance. But as most of you certainly know, it is friggin’ expensive. In most cases employers pay somewhere between 75 and 85% of their actual cost of insurance. So if you file for COBRA, you are going to pick up the entire amount. Look at what you pay now and multiply that by four or five times to get your projected monthly premium outlay. One advantage of using COBRA is you know what your coverage is and who your providers are and IF you have already used your insurance this year you may have satisfied all or part of your deductibles. But for anyone who is currently unemployed, this is the most expensive and least affordable option.
Or you may be able to declare a life change event due to unemployment and enroll in a plan via the Affordable Care Act. As we wrote just a short time back, the federal government was going to re-open for a special open enrollment period but faster than you can submit a tweet that option was rescinded. If you are in a state with its own exchange you might have better luck…but if you are without insurance it is worth looking at the federal site to see of you are life change eligible to enroll. There are time limits so if you lost your job in March, it’s time to get on this right away.
Obviously I am neither a health insurance maven nor an employment advisor…just trying to be helpful.