Health insurance options for the newly jobless

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — People who are recently unemployed may be wondering what’s next when it comes to their health insurance.

Tens of thousands of people in KELOLAND have either lost their job or had their hours cut due to COVID-19.

That leaves a lot of people wondering about their health insurance.

“If they’re actually laid off they have a lot of options. First of all, if they’re under 26 years old they might be able, they’re eligible to be covered under their parent’s insurance if that works in their life situation. Another option is Cobra, which is a kind of insurance continuation when you leave a job,” John Snyder said.

John Snyder with Sanford Health says Cobra is generally offered but can be expensive.
On the flip side, he says people who choose Cobra can keep their current coverage and money that’s already been paid toward a deductible won’t go away.

“If that’s too expensive or not something you want to do there’s options on the exchange, and exchange is healthcare.gov,” Snyder said.

He says typically when someone is laid off it’s considered a life qualifying event, making them eligible to enroll in the exchange.

“There are what’s known as on exchange and off-exchange. So on exchange is really the government managed exchange and some people would be eligible for subsidies depending on their income level,” Snyder said.

Through the off-exchange, the policy is instead purchased directly through the carrier– with no potential government subsidies offered.

“Lastly, there’s also an option, what’s known as Gap insurance, and it’s really short term limited duration policies,” Snyder said.

He says Gap policies offer limited coverage– and will be available in the Sanford Health plan in June.
Regardless of what you decide, he says don’t wait.

“There are so many options and so many ways to get insurance, and again if it’s a financial situation, a lot of people would probably qualify for subsidies so it might not be as expensive as you think,” Snyder said.

Snyder adds that people who are furloughed should be able to continue their current health insurance plan through their employer.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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