The Healing River – Affordable Health Insurance Options for the Unemployed

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jul 24, 2012 in Thinking Positive |

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If you recently lost your job, you may have also lost your health insurance. You have a choice to go without health insurance or to purchase it on your own. If you go without it, you could still visit local, low-cost clinics for your basic healthcare needs. However, if you develop any serious conditions that clinics don’t have the ability to treat, you could find yourself in a terrible financial situation trying to pay back your medical bills.

In most cases, it’s best to have some kind of health insurance at your disposal in case things with your health go seriously awry. Unfortunately, paying for health insurance when you’re unemployed isn’t always easy, especially when you consider that health insurance is typically more expensive for individuals than it is for employees. If you’ve lost your job and are looking for health insurance that will fit into your tight budget, here are a few options you can consider:

High Deductible Health Plans

High deductible health plans, or catastrophic health plans, generally cost less than regular health insurance plans, and they come with much higher deductibles. For instance, you might be able to pay around $50 a month for a high deductible health plan, and your deductible might be around $10,000. A deductible like this may seem pretty high, but signing up for this sort of plan when your options are limited could be worth it. If you needed your appendix removed, for instance, it could cost you around $150,000 without health insurance. With a high deductible health plan, it might only cost you your $10,000 deductible.

Short-Term Health Insurance

Short-term health insurance offers health coverage for a set number of months in exchange for relatively low monthly premiums. You can sign up for short-term health insurance arrangements that cost you as little as $30 dollars a month and that last for up to a year. These temporary health insurance plans generally come with relatively modest deductibles of around $2,000 to $4,000 and allow for a few doctor visits that are mostly covered by the insurance company. If you think you’ll start a new job with health benefits in the next year, this type of insurance could definitely be a good option.

COBRA Continuation Health Coverage

If you previously worked at a company that employed and insured 20 or more workers, you may be eligible for COBRA Continuation Health Coverage. COBRA health coverage is mandated by the federal government. So, insurance companies must offer most displaced workers who were employed at medium and large businesses access to health plans. These plans are a little more expensive for you than other options, however. They generally cost around $250 a month, but they do provide you with all the health coverage you benefited from as an employee, including low-cost doctor visits and a low deductible. In most cases, you’ll be eligible for COBRA Continuation Health Coverage for up to 18 months after you lose your job. If you lost your job due to disability or you lost your health insurance due to divorce, you may be eligible for a COBRA plan for up to 36 months.

There’s no need to go without health insurance, even if you’re unemployed. Allow the river of low-cost insurance to carry you through your unemployment, and protect your health and your finances!

This guest post was contributed by Susan. Susan is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. She often researches and writes about automobile, property and health insurance, helping consumers find the best insurance quotes online. Susan welcomes comments.

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