What to do if you lose your health insurance

The coronavirus pandemic is already causing economic havoc. Millions of Americans are at risk of losing their health insurance and their livelihoods as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Normal circumstances will allow you to tolerate the possibility of being temporarily uninsured while working. If you are able to avoid it, this is not the right time to forgo health insurance. COVID-19 increases both your chance of needing and the likelihood of you having to pay more for it.

Even the most educated people can sometimes be overwhelmed by health insurance. It is okay to feel overwhelmed or confused.

  1. You can get on your spouse’s insurance plan if you are married.

Employer-sponsored insurance may allow you to join your spouse or partner if your job is lost or you lose your benefits. If you are concerned about losing your job, contact your spouse or partner to find out if they can help you join their plan. Although you won’t be eligible for the plan, it is possible to change your benefit status. However, get all the details now to ensure that you are ready.

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  1. Learn more about COBRA

You may be legally able to purchase your employer’s insurance plan for a certain period of time if you lose your job. You can buy this coverage for up to 18 months under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (also known as COBRA), provided that you are willing to pay.

  1. Take a look at the marketplace for health insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), created health insurance marketplaces that can be operated by either the states or the federal government. These marketplaces are available to everyone. Individuals can access them to compare a variety of plans and their coverage levels.

  1. Apply for Medicaid

Medicaid is a publicly funded program that provides health insurance coverage for the most vulnerable and lowest-income individuals. It is a federal-state partnership. Certain rules are set at the federal level, while specific administration is handled at the state and local levels. Eligibility rules can vary depending on where you live and how many people are in your household. They also depend on your income and any special conditions. To provide greater flexibility for expanding coverage, 37 states (and the District of Columbia) have expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA.

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Medicaid is tightly regulated and offers substantial consumer protections. It provides robust benefits for enrollees at no cost or very low cost. Eligibility may begin retroactively depending on where you live. Although it may take some time to determine eligibility, if you do, you could be fully protected against any health costs that you might have to incur.

  1. Ask for help

There are many jargons, complicated rules and bureaucratic obstacles to health insurance. It can be overwhelming to try and figure it all out on your own. You’re not likely to be able to navigate in a situation where the entire world is waiting for disaster to strike.

Good news: You don’t have to.

Your company’s human resource department may be able help you to transition off their plan. You can also contact the federal or state health insurance marketplace. Don’t lose heart if you are put on hold or get poor customer service. If you are unable to get the answer you want or the information you require, you can always call back or ask for a supervisor. There are always people who can help you get the truth. You just need patience.

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Although federal funding for insurance navigators was cut, there are still many nonprofit organizations that can help consumers find the best health insurance options. Helpers can be found in many places, whether they are local or state-level. You can start by visiting the federal website. Instead of trying to sell less-than-robust coverage, look for non-profit agencies.