Maintaining Health Insurance After Job Loss
Losing a job can be unexpected. So can becoming ill or being in an accident. Often, not having health insurance can lead to many costly bills. During these uncertain economic times, SummaCare offers suggestions for people to keep the appropriate level of health insurance coverage following the loss of a job.
1. Living without health insurance can lead to overwhelming medical bills. One accident can cost thousands if you don’t have health insurance. If you lose your health insurance, first determine if you’re able to get coverage on your spouse’s plan and ask your previous employer to discuss all your options with you.
2. COBRA is an option, but it does not apply to all. Ask your previous employer if you are eligible for COBRA, as well as what steps to take to enroll. Always ask how much coverage will cost and what it covers to determine if it’s the right fit and the most affordable option.
3. Individual Plan options exist. Many people don’t realize insurance companies offer products for individuals and families who are without access to group coverage. These plans range in cost and benefits and are often less expensive than COBRA. Unlike COBRA, however, you must medically qualify to apply.
4. Do the research and ask the right questions. Compare individual plans closely to determine which plan has the right benefits for your needs. A few things to consider when comparing plans include: Does it have prescription drug coverage? Is your current doctor in the network? If not, how much does it cost to go out of network? Does it include mental health benefits? Knowing these things up front will help you determine the best option. Many companies provide free quotes online or by calling to speak to a representative.
5. Enroll in a plan. Apply for coverage when you find the plan that fits your needs and budget. Typically, coverage will start once an application is accepted.