Are you among those people who recently lost their health insurance coverage due to workplace retrenchment? Or perhaps your working hours were reduced to still cover your company’s operating costs, but in the process, you also lost your job-sponsored health coverage? As a repercussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected countless numbers of people on a global scale, you have an entitlement to a 60-day Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
If you missed your enrollment window by 60 days, then you don’t have much of a choice but to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period comes. This usually starts in November (unless you have another qualifying event).
Subsidies from the government (with respect to your expected monthly income) can significantly help a lot in pulling down insurance costs. The bulk of the Health Scout clientele find a plan for $50/month or less in premiums, and one-third pay less than $10/month.
Your Available Options for Health Insurance
In the event that you lost your health insurance coverage, know that you have the following major options.
COBRA. While your employer’s insurance remains in place, you’ll be required to foot the bill for the whole year. By far, this is the costliest option, but it offers comprehensive coverage and the widest number of health professionals. Anticipate that you’ll spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars every month to several thousand.
Marketplace Insurance. Otherwise known as health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Your premium may be paid in part or in full by the government, depending on your income. Comprehensive, albeit access to certain medical practitioners may indeed be limited. With respect to your income, your entitlement for subsidies will pull down your monthly payment to significantly lower prices.
Medicaid. Low-income people and families can get free or low-cost health insurance, although the availability varies from state to state (pregnant women and children are always covered). You must be on a modest income to be eligible for this complete insurance. You may expect to spend anywhere from zero dollars per month to tens of thousands of dollars.
What About the COBRA Program? COBRA is almost never an option we recommend since marketplace insurance is generally more cost-efficient for the vast majority as opposed to COBRA, even when you are not completely entitled to subsidies. Unless you have signed up for COBRA and then have a qualifying life event, which may include having a baby, moving to another place of residence, or getting married, etc. One will need to wait until the beginning of the “Open Enrollment Period”, which happens on November 1st, then there is no way you can switch to a Marketplace plan.
What Type of Health Coverage Are You Entitled to Have?
Subsidies via the marketplace and Medicaid eligibility are influenced by your household size and expected monthly income.
The following table illustrates Medicaid coverage by income bracket in states that have recently extended Medicaid. This will include the following:
It’s worth noting that California makes an exception to this table since additional subsidies are available for middle-income individuals, which means that you may qualify for subsidies if you earn up to $75,000.
You can apply for Medicaid here.
You can apply for Marketplace insurance here.
Here’s a list of states that haven’t increased Medicaid eligibility based on income:
KS, AL, MO, FL, WI, NC, OK, WY, MS, SC, GA, SD, TN, TX,
People who live in states that didn’t expand Medicaid may find themselves in a position where their high income would prevent them from being eligible for Medicaid, yet not high enough to receive Marketplace subsidies.
Medicaid applications are available here.
Check this site to apply for Marketplace health insurance.
If your spouse’s employer offers health insurance, sign up for it through their job. This is by far the most cost-effective alternative.
1. Enroll in health insurance offered by your spouse’s company.
If there’s an option to do so, seize the opportunity because it’s usually the most cost-effective.
2. Never make the mistake of signing up for COBRA. Before you decide on acquiring health insurance, take into consideration all the other alternative options you have.
In general, COBRA premiums are much higher than those of Obamacare, also known as Marketplace health insurance. Also, the ACA includes subsidies from the government that lower the cost of health insurance for people based on their income. In addition, you will not be able to change to a Marketplace plan if you enroll in COBRA unless you experience a Qualifying Life Event. This may mean that you must remain on COBRA.
3. Enroll in a Marketplace Plan or Medicaid.
The expense of being uninsured during the COVID-19 pandemic might be quite high. To give you an idea, the average cost of coronavirus hospital treatment is around $20,292. This is more than enough reason for you to obtain health insurance. To enroll, reach us at.
You may get entitlement to Medicaid with respect to your monthly income as well as the state in which you live. Medicaid provides health insurance to low-income Americans in partnership with the federal government. There are income brackets for Medicaid eligibility (although some states haven’t expanded Medicaid, so it depends where you live). The number of children covered by Medicaid has reached one in four, 21% of low-income adults, and 60% of nursing home patients in the United States.
The subsidies and other incentives make Marketplace insurance plans feasible for the majority of people even if your income puts you beyond Medicaid’s bounds. Approximately one-third of all customers of Health Scout spend an average of $10 per month on Marketplace insurance.
Every ACA-compliant Medicaid and Marketplace plan has comprehensive health coverage that includes everything from COVID-19 testing to emergency care to mental health to maternity care and everything in between.
Remember to apply for Medicare coverage if you’re 65 or older this year.