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Health Insurance for the Unemployed

By Edited May 6, 2016 0 1

There really are some great options when it comes to health insurance for the unemployed. If you've fallen on some hard times, like losing your job, and all the money issues that go with it, you should know about some of your options. Yes, you do have options. Nobody should ever go without some form of medical coverage, or be forced to skip appointments when you cannot afford the cost of the appointment. You can get health insurance for the unemployed.

Government policies:

There are several types of government programs that provide health insurance for the unemployed. Some plans will have income restrictions, which will likely not be an issue if you've lost your job. For others, there will be other barriers to overcome. Let's look at how to get health insurance for the unemployed through the government, and where to look.

1. Medicaid. This is a program offered by the United States federal government and individual states that may be an option of health insurance for the unemployed. While there are some federal guidelines, individual states typically manage their programs. There are income restrictions, in most cases. Visit a local office to find out if you qualify for health insurance for the unemployed with the Medicaid program.

2. Other state or local programs for medical coverage. Many states have their own programs to provide health insurance for the unemployed. Wisconsin, for example, offers something called Badger Care. A simple call to your county courthouse or speak to the social services office. They will steer you on the right path to finding health insurance for the unemployed. It may be as simple as using your phone to get the ball rolling for medical coverage.

Cheap plans:

There are some very reasonable plans that offer health insurance for the unemployed. A simple internet search will yield many results. To have the best luck, you should follow some easy steps.

1. Search by state or region. Sometimes local carriers will have the best rates. In addition, plans can vary depending on region. By searching in your area, you'll be able to make sure you get the best fit. Local plans are also more likely to provide full coverage with your doctor, so you don't have to make a switch. It will only take a matter of minutes to find a lot of options of health insurance for the unemployed by using this method.

2. Look at temporary plans. There are some very cheap, short term plans for health insurance for the unemployed. Search for these temporary plans on the internet, staying local when possible, or by simply contacting a local agency by phone or in person. You have nothing to lose. Coverage quality varies a lot with these medical coverage plans, so you should read the fine print before you select the plan for a medical coverage policy.

Making it even cheaper:

There are some things you can do to keep the costs down, even on the cheaper medical coverage plans. This is very important for health insurance for the unemployed, because it frees up needed funds. Just because you find a cheap medical coverage policy, doesn't mean it's the best deal out there. Depending on our individual situation, you may be able to decrease the cost even more. Let's take a look at some of the things to make your health insurance for the unemployed even less expensive.

1. High deductibles. High deductibles will help keep your premiums down. Companies sell policies based on risk. Part of the risk equation is the likelihood of paying out a claim. When the deductible is higher, the chances of the company paying a claim decrease. This will make health insurance for the unemployed even more affordable. Of course, this comes with risk. You will have higher out of pocket costs in the event of a medical problem.

2. HMO options. If your doctor isn't covered in the plan, you may want to consider making a switch. Using your doctor may end up costing you more money. HMO plans will have some restrictions in choosing your own doctor. For some, this just isn't the best option available when searching for health insurance for the unemployed.

3. Specific coverage. This is a gamble, but it may be right for you if money is very tight. There are specific plans, like accident only coverage, may be explored. Essentially, only qualified accidents are covered by the plan, not sickness. Likewise, you can get sickness only medical coverage. In addition, prescription drug only policies are available. This is risky stuff, so use caution with these types of medical policies.


The most pure form of health insurance for the unemployed, COBRA allows you the right to continue your benefits for up to 18 months after termination of your job. This sounds great, but there are some problems.

1. The employer isn't required to pay their portion. Most employer pay a percentage of the premiums for the employee. COBRA doesn't require the employer to continue to pay this amount. Obviously, the cost may make this option of health insurance for the unemployed impossible.

2. Limited term. As noted, you can typically only use COBRA for 18 months. If you cannot find work for a longer period of time, you may lose your coverage. The time limits are a drawback of using COBRA for health insurance for the unemployed. Those that run out of time may have to explore temporary plans.

Public clinics:

These are a great place to find health insurance for the unemployed. Clinics will be able to provide you with information about free or cheap medical coverage plans. Some clinics even offer free medical services for those that qualify. Take a look through your phone book, there's a good chance you'll find a public medical clinic in your area. It will only take a few minutes of your time to find health insurance for the unemployed, and it could pay off big.

There really are some options for health insurance for the unemployed. You will need to use caution as you proceed, making sure you don't find yourself in a bind. Who knows, perhaps someday we'll all have the coverage we need. At least there are still a few options for health insurance for the unemployed out there.



Jul 10, 2010 6:49pm
Great article, Jason!
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