If your job – and your benefits – are victims of the corona virus, your sudden lack of health insurance can be one of your many concerns.
If you want 49% of AmericansAccording to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, you can get your health insurance through your employer. However, the economic impact of the corona virus is estimated 3 million jobs by summer, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
If you recently lost your job – or think you could do it soon – the need for medical care could be urgent.
Before we look at options: Losing coverage should not affect your decision to test for the coronavirus if you suspect you are infected.
Passed the congress Family First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18, which promises free coronavirus diagnostic tests regardless of whether you are insured.
However, the law does not cover COVID-19 treatment costs if you are not insured. And COVID-19 is just a problem – how do you pay for the rest of your immediate health care?
How to get health insurance coverage when you lose your job and health insurance benefits.
How to find health insurance if you lose your job
If your professional and medical performance is at risk due to the consequences of the corona virus, you will find options for health insurance here.
Cover extended by the employer
This option depends entirely on your employer's severance package. This could include extending health insurance coverage for a period of time.
If you haven't signed anything yet, read the exit package to see if you have the option for additional coverage – and consider Negotiations to expand health benefits unless.
These extensions are usually short-term solutions. So if you don't have another job with quick benefits, you'll need to look for options that go beyond your previous employer.
If you know something about health insurance after your employment ends, you've probably heard of COBRA.
And you've probably heard that it's expensive.
COBRA – or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – is intended to offer departing employees the opportunity to continue their coverage through their employer's group health plan. Employers with 20 or more employees typically have to offer this option.
If you are eligible for COBRA, you have up to 60 days to decide whether you want to continue your coverage. Even if you initially decline, you have the option to register within this period.
If you work for an employer with fewer than 20 employers, ask the office of your state insurance officer if your state requires continued coverage under a plan called mini-COBRA.
The continuation insurance is valid for up to 18 months – your spouse and your relatives can stay insured for three years, depending on the circumstances.
But here it gets expensive: The part of the bonus that your employer previously covered is now your responsibility.
So if you spent $ 400 a month on group plan participation, but your employer took over 60%, you now owe $ 1,000 a month – plus up to 2% more on administration costs.
It may not be the additional cost you will need to lose after losing your job, but if you liked your old insurance, it might be worth the cost.
Health insurance market
The open registration period for 2020 has expired. However, if you have just left your job and lost your employer-based health insurance, you are qualify for a special registration period it usually takes 60 days.
Note that the 60-day period after you leave your job is the same time that you have to decide whether you want COBRA. This means that you have to choose between one and the other during this time – although this is the case Exceptions to this rule. If you do not sign up during the special registration period, you will have to wait until the next open registration period for Marketplace from November 1st to December 15th.
Marketplace plans cannot end your coverage due to a change in health. This includes diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.
Within the marketplace, the premiums for 2020 are for average benchmark plan – aka Silver plan – is $ 462, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. However, you are unlikely to pay the sticker price.
If you want 87% of AmericansYou are entitled to subsidies such as tax credits and Reduced cost sharing on deductibles, co-payments and other expenses.
Your household size and income determine which health insurance you are entitled to and which subsidies qualify you to pay for the cover.
When you fill out your marketplace application, you will also be notified if you qualify for free or low cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). None of these have registration period restrictions like marketplace plans.
If you choose a marketplace plan, check with the health insurance company Cover policy for COVID-19 Before you sign anything – many plans currently cover it like any other virus infection, although this policy may change.
If you lose health insurance
The price of COBRA or a marketplace plan can make you feel a bit sick, so you may be tempted to skip health insurance altogether. This is not advisable given the spread of COVID-19.
Amidst the spread of the coronavirus many Health insurance offer to waive the payment for Teledoc visits and fees for the delivery of prescriptions. The cost of treatment alone could far exceed monthly premiums.
However, if you have no other options, you can still take some measures to cover the costs until you can afford a plan.
Some states have opened a health insurance emergency period regardless of your employment status. Check your state's eligibility by entering your zip code at healthcare.gov.
If you previously had a high deductible plan and contributed to one Health account (HSA) With this money you can cover the health costs even after leaving the plan.
"You can continue to use your HSA – you simply cannot contribute until you have a high deductible health plan," said Alexandra Wilson, a certified financial planner.
The money you put in an HSA is yours – as opposed to a flexible spending account, another health care account that has an annual need to use or lose it.
Some states also help: The state of New York, for example, suspends debt collection from the state. Check with your state attorney general for updates near you.
If you are forced to seek medical treatment without insurance – such as a trip to the emergency room – you can take action reduce medical expenses and Negotiate your medical bills.
In the worst case, you will have to take on debt to receive medical treatment. We are reluctant to tell people to go into debt unnecessarily, however It is an exception.
If you don't pay for medically necessary treatment because you can't afford it now, you will likely pay more for more expensive treatment later – or worse.
And here's the thing: unlike your mortgage lender or credit card company, your doctor or hospital will almost certainly not report regularly missed medical payments to the credit bureaus. This means that your creditworthiness will not affect your creditworthiness unless your medical debt becomes criminal.
Avoid if possible costly mistakes in dealing with medical debt by negotiating prices instead or asking about grant programs. So you can concentrate on getting better without additional financial burden.
Tiffany Wendeln Connors is an associate and editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read their bio and other work here, catch them on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.
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