There may be people out there who lost their job-related health insurance amid the COVID-19 crisis. If you are also one of them, then you should take action as quickly as possible.
Numerous options have time-limited deadlines, ranging from 30 to 60 days from the loss of coverage, hence it is important to promptly secure the documents, including proof of job & health insurance loss, which are usually required while applying for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Medicaid. And since over 16 million people have applied for unemployment insurance lately, many will also be trying to acquire health insurance.
So, if you experience loss of income as well as have been paying for your own insurance under the ACA, then you have an option to revise your estimated yearly income & perhaps acquire a subsidy as well as lower premiums.
Here’s What The Cares Act Offers
Federal & state responses to the pandemic crisis can have only a fixed effect on individual healthcare expenses.
The CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion package signed into law on March 27, 2020, needs health insurers to provide coverage for COVID-19 testing (and a vaccine when it becomes available) without cost-sharing (deductibles, copays). Also, it expands insurance coverage for telehealth visits.
The cost of total treatment for COVID-19 is not covered but if you visit an emergency room or need hospitalization, coronavirus care may be really expensive.
An admission for pneumonia (which is a common complication of coronavirus) costs just under $10,000 with no complications, and up to $20,292 with main complications or comorbidity.
Also, people with employer-based health insurance usually face more than $1,300 in out-of-pocket costs. A few insurance companies including Aetna, announced that until June 1, 2020, most of its customers were not supposed to pay copayments as well as other forms of cost-sharing for coronavirus care.
Recently, the White House declared that it would utilize money in the CARES Act to reimburse hospitals for coronavirus care for almost 28 million non-elderly American citizens who are uninsured. Here, the fear is that uninsured people are hesitant to get checked if they feel ill that can result in a greater spread of the infection. The secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar said hospitals will be reimbursed at Medicare rates as well as those who accepted funds will be barred from billing the patients involved.
The total expenses of treatment for non-virus related medical care are, of course, not impacted. A person may still require health insurance to cover doctor, hospital, and prescription drug expenses.
Also Read: How You Can Save Money On Drugs
Here’s how if you have recently lost job-based insurance can acquire insurance now.
Coordinate With The Employer
The whole situation is emerging rapidly. A few companies including Macy’s, are still paying health insurance for furloughed employees. And others are providing to subsidize COBRA coverage for a limited period.
The CARES Act has numerous provisions to incentivize employers to handle their employees including employee retention credits. Hence, stay connected to know about the plans of your company. Also, stay in touch with your former employer to acquire the documents you require to verify your dismissal as well as the loss of health insurance.
Join the Family Member’s Policy
In case, your spouse or parents (if you are under 26 years old) own a health insurance policy, then you should probably consider joining it during the 30 days after you lose your health insurance coverage. Often this involves additional premium expenses for your spouse or parents, however, will probably be among the least expensive options for replacement coverage for you.
Sign Up For Medicaid
Medicaid is considered the nation’s largest health insurer. It provides enrollees health insurance that is, on most measures, as good as (and often better than) private coverage. Based on where a person lives in, Medicaid can be an available, low-cost option, or let’s say “impossibly difficult to get”. The exceptional route to check Medicaid eligibility is to visit Medicaid.org and just select your state.
Also Read: Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid
Purchase Short-Term Health Insurance
If you are unable to purchase coverage through a special enrollment period or other means, then short-term health insurance is worth considering.
These policies are directly purchased from insurance firms as well as brokers in states where they are available. All you need to do is search “limited duration health insurance” along with your state name will show a list of possible organizations.
Short-term insurance can be even kept for up to one year. And if you plan to use short-term insurance as a bridge, then be careful about setting an end date.