Temporary Health Insurance Options for When You Lose Your Job

Finding yourself between jobs can be stressful for many reasons; you don't want to have to worry about your health insurance as well. This is especially true since the ACA (Affordable Care Act) has strict insurance requirements that can lead to tax penalties if you go without insurance. Fortunately, there are several options available that make it more affordable to keep coverage.

Join a family member's policy

You may be able to join a family member's insurance policy if you lose your company insurance during an open enrollment period. Your spouse is the most likely option if they have an employer program that you can join. If you are under the age of 26, you can join your parent's insurance plan, even if you are married and have children of your own.

Qualify for Medicaid

Medicaid programs are available in all states to help offset or even completely cover the cost of health insurance for those with a low income. This can be a major benefit if you find yourself without a job and with reduced or new income, even if it's only temporarily. Medicaid requirements vary by state, so you will need to get in touch with your state Department of Health or Social Services to find out what the restrictions are and to learn how to apply.

Pay for COBRA coverage

COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It is a short-term insurance coverage option that allows you to continue your health insurance plan from your previous employer. You will be responsible for the full cost of the insurance, which can be quite expensive when compared to the amount you were responsible for when you were still employed. COBRA insurance covers you for at least 18 months at your previous level of coverage, as long as you continue to make the payments.

Temporary insurance

Temp insurance plans are designed to provide insurance coverage for a short period, generally between the open enrollment period of the state health insurance market. This means the coverage is only good for about six to eight months on average. This can be an excellent option for those that plan to take an ACA plan through the health market at the next opportunity, or for those that know they will be going onto an employer plan within the next six months or so. Temp insurance plans can be less expensive than your COBRA option, in some cases.

For more information, contact an insurance company in your area.