A recent study backed by Politico estimated that last year 87 million Americans were uninsured or underinsured—struggling to get to a doctor when they needed to. Now the situation is much worse as many Americans begin to lose their jobs and associated coverage at an alarming rate.
As the times have clearly shown, we are not in this alone. So, what happens next? After you take a few deep breaths, read the guidelines below on how to move forward and gain the coverage you need.
Four Steps to Finding Health Insurance
#1 – Gather Information: When a health crisis hits, it can be overwhelming to try and narrow your information in a timely manner. Healthcare.gov is the federal government website that can connect you to many types of health insurance. Beyond knowing your government-backed options, it’s certainly worth consulting with private insurers as well. Be sure to cover all of your bases and compare as many plans as you can.
#2 – Assess Your Options: A health crisis can often come with easements in the form of waived enrollment periods and application assistance. Let your mind rest knowing that you have more time than it may seem. A local State Health Insurance Assistance Program can help you apply. However, it is important to note that many government and state plans can come with significant gaps – and won’t cover long hospital stays, or prescription drugs, or other important services that private plans will always insure.
#3 – Rely on Others: A health crisis can affect everything from your physical wellbeing to job security and the insurance that comes with it. If you recently lost your own job-based insurance, see if there is another member of your household who is able to add you to their plan. Your family member can contact his or her employer for information about how to add you to the plan and what time restrictions might apply.
#4 – Extend What You Have: If a health crisis prolongs, business will inevitably close, if only temporarily. If you or a loved one is temporarily unemployed, you may still qualify to continue to keep the coverage that was provided by your former employer. According to the United States Department of Labor, as long as your employer exists, continues to sponsor a health plan, and employs you, and you continue to meet your employer’s eligibility requirements, you would generally remain covered under your existing health plan, even if the employer’s physical location closes.
In addition to the options above, InsureYes can help mitigate some of the stress with our free quote generator.