Health Insurance for the Unemployed

When you suddenly find yourself unemployed how do you provide health insurance for your family and yourself? That is a question that is on the minds of more and more Americans these days. There are several alternatives for unemployed people looking for affordable health insurance.

 The first step is to contact a health insurance agent whom you know and trust. You do not want to get stuck with a worthless policy that won’t allow you to go to hospitals or doctors in your area. The next step is to find out all the options you have and to decide what you need and what you can afford.

There are policies that are called catastrophe insurance. These policies have a higher than average deductible usually around $5000.00 or more. The policy is designed to protect you if you have a major accident or illness, but not for everyday doctor visits and check-ups. If you have children that are constantly at the doctors this is probably not the coverage for you.

Another option is to get temporary or short term health insurance. The length of time that these types of policy may cover varies, but they are usually 1 to 6 months. These policies are cheaper because they do not cover any pre-existing conditions. They also only cover you and your family for the time the policy is in force. Meaning if you get sick or hurt during the policy period there is only a limited about of benefits that they will continue to pay for any on-going treatment. These policies cannot be extended. So there is a risk involved should you becoming sick or injured and need long term care.

If you find yourself in the hospital without coverage there is a way to help pay your hospital bill that most hospitals will not tell you about. The Healthy Communities Access Program (H-CAP) is a federal grant program that will reduce your hospital bill for 10 to 100% depending on your income. This will only cover the hospital bill not doctors bills. You have to ask for an application in most cases. You simply provide the hospital with you family and financial information. The application is then processed and in a couple weeks they will send you an adjusted bill. It isn’t health insurance, but H-CAP can help make hospital bills more manageable.

Most states do offer free health insurance in the form of Medicaid to individuals who meet the income requirements and have children under the age of 18. This program provides your family with full coverage for hospital, doctors, dental expenses, even eye glasses if you qualify. Even some families who have jobs qualify because their earnings are below the levels set by the federal government for poverty. It works just like any other insurance; you will have certain doctors and hospitals you can go to in your area.

There is health insurance out there for you and your family if you know where to look. Some of the cheaper policies do not pay as much commission so insurance agents may not even offer them to you unless you ask. For this reason and others you should do a little research about the policies that are available so you know what you are looking for before you talk to an agent about coverage. It never hurts to be informed and in this case being informed may help you keep your family healthy.