Healthcare Options for the Unemployed

The last thing anyone wants to think about when unemployed is having health insurance coverage. The good news is that there are options to consider to keep yourself as well as your family covered.

If your unemployment is temporary, you can sign up for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) of 1986. This is a federal law that permits an employee and his/her dependents to continue on an employer’s group plan for at least 18 months. The only down fall with COBRA is that it can be very expensive. Another great option for temporary unemployment and a low-cost  alternative to COBRA is short-term health insurance. You can get coverage the very next day after answering only a couple of questions and this is very good during times of transition and/or change. A down fall to it is that pre-existing and routine doctor visits are not covered.

If your unemployment is long term and you have COBRA in place, another option is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) of 1996. This allows insurance for some individuals who lose group coverage. You MUST have used COBRA for 18 months prior to signing up for HIPAA.

Many insurance companies have individual plans for persons with no group coverage. Check your state to determine the best fit for you.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has affordable individual plans to consider. They have multiple plans and policies to compare and most of them only require you to schedule an appointment with a representative to obtain some health issue answers which include but are not limited to your height, weight, age, and any pre-existing conditions. The appointment would take place in the place of your choice.  You can check them out at to select your state and find a plan for you and your family.

United Healthcare is also affordable and the different plans can be found at They offer Health Savings Accounts (HSA) which is a lower monthly cost, high deductible plan that may be great for the unemployed. You can also choose from a copay plan that is convenient with a set fee for office visits and preventative care. This is convenience and comprehensive coverage combined.

A very good option for help with medication is to contact pharmaceutical companies. They have programs in place for uninsured persons. This will at least help with medication bills. You can search the directory for these companies at  

Now that we have went over some great options for health coverage, take some time and research the best fit for you and your family.