Anyone—especially a young person—who has ever been without a job knows the immense stress that can overwhelm your life. One of the biggest worries is how medical bills will be paid. After all, the easiest way to be covered with medical insurance is to be a part of a group plan. There are less pre-existing condition exclusions to worry about, and an employer will usually subsidize the cost of the plan, making it much cheaper than going out on your own and buying an insurance policy. However, if the day comes that your job is no longer around, know that comprehensive health insurance for unemployed young people can be found at an affordable rate. Here are ways to make that happen.
COBRA Health Insurance for Unemployed
If you worked for a company that employs more than 20 people, then COBRA insurance is available. COBRA allows former employees to continue on the medical plan that they were a part of when they were employed. The access to quality insurance is a good thing about COBRA.
However, there is a significant downside to this form of health insurance for unemployed young people, and that is the cost. To be on a COBRA plan, you are required to pay the entire monthly premium of the plan (plus 2% for administrative costs). Since the premium was most likely partly paid for by the company, the cost of COBRA insurance will be a big jump from what was being paid previously.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as PPACA or Obamacare, allows people to be enrolled on a parent’s plan until the child reaches age 26. This can be a terrific option of health insurance for unemployed young people. If your mom or dad has group insurance, they can enroll you in their plan if you lose your job.
The upside of this is that to add a child to a plan is not very expensive. In fact, if another child is already on the plan then there will probably not be an additional cost.
Marketplace Health Insurance for Unemployed Young Adults
The Affordable Care Act set up health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges, where people can go online and shop for health insurance. The exchanges might be a good option if a young person is having trouble finding good, affordable coverage elsewhere.
The marketplaces can be a great place to find health insurance for unemployed young people since the federal government provides tax credits to individuals that earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level but are not eligible for Medicaid. Many unemployed young people will fall in this category.
The marketplaces are also good places to find health insurance for your children.
While Medicaid isn’t technically health insurance for unemployed young people, it can be a good way to help pay for medical expenses. Medicaid is administered by the states, and eligibility varies by state. PPACA expanded Medicaid eligibility, but not every state has implemented the new Medicaid rules.
If your child needs Medicaid, but you are not eligible, CHIP insurance is available.
If Medicaid or CHIP is something you are interested in, check out your state’s Medicaid website.
Find Health Insurance One Way or Another
With the cost of health care continuing to rise, quality and affordable health coverage is needed. Fortunately, finding health insurance for unemployed young adults is not as difficult as it used to be. Government programs and group plans are available to keep from going broke when you least can afford it.