What Types of Medical Coverage Exist If You Lose Your Job?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Over 35 million Americans have lost their jobs over the past year. That amounts to roughly 10% of the country’s population.

As a result, many Americans no longer have job-based medical coverage.

Can you get medical coverage when you lose your job? If so, what options are out there?

Is Medical Coverage Available for the Unemployed?

Thankfully, there are many medical insurance options available to the recently unemployed.

Several factors affect what options are available to you.

Here are some unique options that are sure to cover your individual circumstances.

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  1. Spousal Benefits

If your spouse is still employed, you may fall under their employer’s medical insurance coverage.

This will vary between employers and health insurance providers, so it is not a guaranteed option.

But it is one of the simplest options for families and may be helpful even when work has returned.

  1. Marketplace Plans

The Affordable Care Act created many resources for medical coverage plans. One of them is a Marketplace showcasing affordable insurance plans.

Through the Marketplace, there are a variety of general and specialized plans. They include medical vision coverage, dental coverage, child care, and a range of other options.

Plans are affordable with flexible time frames of coverage. If the time frame of your unemployment is unclear, this is a viable option.

  1. Medicaid

Before the pandemic, many federal programs existed for providing coverage under special circumstances.

The most popular example is Medicaid. Traditionally, this program has been for adults over the age of 65.

Recently, many of the qualifications and abilities of these programs have been modified to help more people. This includes Medicaid.

In 37 states, Medicaid has been expanded to included unemployed low-income-level adults.

It is worth checking to see if your state is among those who expanded these benefits.

  1. State Programs

There are other ways your state of residence can help with your medical payments coverage.

Depending on the state you live in, there may be state-level equivalents to Medicaid available to residents only.

One example of this is Medi-Cal, a California-state-sponsored program for low-income families, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and others.

  1. COBRA

The COBRA insurance is the most widespread option for the recently unemployed.

COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) allows families or individuals to keep their medical insurance coverage for a certain amount of time after certain “life events.”

Thankfully, involuntary job loss or reduced hours qualify as life events.

The time COBRA extends medical insurance coverage is temporary, so it is not a permanent solution. But it will work for most people as they find a new job or wait for their work to return to normal.

Stay Safe and Healthy

If you’ve recently lost your job, you have options for continuing your medical coverage.

For most people, the COBRA insurance program will be the one that works best as it is an extension of the benefits you were already receiving.

As the world returns to normal, you want to take your personal health seriously. Having medical coverage is essential, but preventative measures and a healthy lifestyle will mitigate you from having to use it. 

We have several resources for you to maintain your physical and emotional health. Check them out for tips and tricks on staying healthy. For now, remember to stay happy and healthy. 

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