Are You One of the Millions of Americans Who Have Lost Their Health Insurance Due to Unemployment?
According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family foundation, over 31 million people have filed for unemployment from the start of the pandemic in early March through May alone. The latest figures for Texas show that unemployment has risen to 12.8%. With those numbers expected to increase as we continue navigating this unprecedented health crisis, making sure that you're protected if has never been more important. Whether you've lost your job or you're feeling uncertainty about your current employment situation, it's good to stay informed about the options that are available to you.
While your insurance options might be limited if you've been laid off, you still have choices. The most common plan you can roll over to after losing your employer sponsored benefits is COBRA, which allows you to continue with the plan you were on while employed. The difference in cost, however, can be astounding. Most people aren't aware of the portion being paid by their employer because it usually gets automatically deducted from your paycheck. With COBRA, the previous employer is no longer contributing, so you end up being responsible for covering that, plus a 2% service fee. Faced with loss of income, the cost of continuing your current plan with COBRA can be significant and often prohibitive. There's also a max time limit of 18-36 months for COBRA benefits, depending on your circumstances. While Congress are considering proposals to help cover the financial gap, like the Worker Health Coverage Protection Act, these changes won't come fast enough for Americans who need them.
The Affordable Care Act
One measure the government has taken during the pandemic is to extend the open enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If COBRA is too expensive, it's worth a look to see if there are any subsidies under ACA that might help lower your costs. However, even with recent legislation to extend ACA enrollment, not everyone will qualify for subsidies. Regardless of cost, it's still a good idea to make a side by side comparison of plans because coverage could be drastically different, potentially making COBRA the better plan, even if more expensive. Additionally, plans could have network restrictions that don't meet your needs.
Consider Short Term Medical Coverage
For healthy individuals with no pre-existing conditions, a combination of Short Term Medical Health Insurance and supplemental policies may offer the best value for coverage. These are simply policies that go above and beyond what your existing policy might cover. Some examples of supplemental policies to combine with Short Term Medical coverage are accident policies, dental, and life insurance with living benefits.
IMPORTANT: Short Term Medical does NOT cover pre-existing conditions. If coverage for a pre-existing condition is needed, the health insurance marketplace is still the best option.
Be Sure You Stay Protected
The medical community is in agreement that Covid-19 will be with us for awhile, so making sure you have coverage is critical. It might be costly, but this is not the time to take any risks with your health coverage.
BONUS TIP: Be sure to check out our money saving tips for lab tests, if you find yourself needing any laboratory testing. In times like these, every dollar counts!
We’re here to help! Schedule a call or reach out to us at 210-696-7900. We’ll review your insurance coverage options and ensure that get the best protection for your money!