There’s help if you lost your health insurance

[2 MIN READ]

In this article:

  • You may be eligible for other forms of health insurance if you lose access to an employer-sponsored policy.

  • It’s important to your health to maintain coverage at all times, say Providence physicians

  • Medicaid, the ACA, and COBRA offer options for insurance.

If you're one of the millions of people who lost a job and/or health insurance because of COVID-19, or if you have lost coverage for other reasons, you know it can be challenging to find a policy that works for you.

It’s important that you continue to take care of your health and the health of your family and are prepared for any unexpected issues. 

There are options to make sure you don’t go without care. 

Are you eligible for assistance?

Did you know you may qualify for assistance to ensure you have some form of healthcare coverage? Medicaid is a free or low-cost health coverage plan that covers millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. 

You may also qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of health insurance. This is called a subsidy and it’s not a loan, so you don't have to pay it back.

See if you qualify for assistance with your healthcare costs by using this helpful interactive calculator, or go to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, healthcare.gov. This is the federal health insurance marketplace, also known as an exchange, where you can get coverage and find answers to your questions.

More about Medicaid

You can qualify for Medicaid based on income, household size, disability, family status, and other factors. Eligibility rules differ between states. In the 36 states that have expanded Medicaid coverage, you can qualify based on your income alone. If your household income is below 133% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify. 

Even if you don't qualify for Medicaid based on income, you should apply. You may qualify for your state's program, especially if you have children, are pregnant or have a disability. You can apply for Medicaid any time of year — Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) do not have open enrollment periods. The best way to apply is through the marketplace or your state Medicaid office.

More about the ACA

Let’s say you’re not eligible for Medicaid because you have a higher monthly income, but you don’t have health insurance. You may be able to get insurance through the marketplaces. Losing your healthcare coverage and other qualifying events make you eligible to enroll for coverage. Go to healthcare.gov, click “See if I can enroll,” and then enter your zip code.

Options to join COBRA after job loss

If you had insurance through your job, you may have the option to keep your health insurance through COBRA. This is a program that allows eligible employees and their family members to receive health insurance after a job loss or a reduction in work hours.

Before you choose COBRA, consider looking at other options. You might find a less expensive healthcare plan and/or subsidies through healthcare.gov.

To get started go to healthcare.gov and click “Get Coverage.” You can choose the name of your state from a drop-down menu. If your state has its own marketplace, you’ll be automatically taken to that site. If your state doesn’t have its own health insurance marketplace, you’ll be prompted to apply on the healthcare.gov site.

We understand how difficult it can be to lose your job and health insurance. That’s why we offer resources and support that can help you navigate this challenging time. Visit Providence’s community resources page to learn more.

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Find a doctor

As a healthcare provider, Providence knows that well-being is about more than just healthcare. It is about ensuring equity of care for everyone by providing access to a comprehensive suite of social and health services. Don’t delay care: Find a Providence provider here

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

About the Author

The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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