If you are the victim of a recent layoff or have left your current job to go to work for a different employer, chances are you’re without health insurance and are in need of a temporary solution.
Fortunately, you can get short term health insurance between jobs that will offer at least basic protection until you gain employment and qualify for benefits with your new employer. Even if you don’t think you will need insurance during this interim period, the last thing you want is to have an unexpected medical emergency end up derailing your financial life. One of the following methods of gaining temporary insurance may be just what you need.
If you were laid off from your job and had health insurance with your previous employer, you probably qualify for continuing your insurance via COBRA. COBRA, or Consolidated Onmibus Budget Reconciliation Act, allows you to continue receiving the health insurance coverage that you had with your previous employer, but at your expense. That’s right, to add insult to injury, you are responsible for paying the full cost of the insurance plan, which is difficult for people who are no longer employed. If you do elect to enroll in COBRA, you will be covered for a period of 18- 36 months depending on the qualifying event.
If you meet certain, specific criteria, you may qualify for government insurance programs. Many people are unaware of government agencies and programs that offer reasonably affordable health insurance for those that are in financial need. Those that do meet criteria and qualify will typically enjoy some of the least costly rates found anywhere. Check with you local, state, and if necessary, federal agencies to see if you qualify.
Purchasing a Private Plan
Even though many people view purchasing individual health insurance from a private provider as something to dread, there are some reasonably affordable plans that can meet your basic health care needs. Some people will opt for plans that only provide coverage only in the case of a catastrophic medical event, while others will choose a plan that covers general health needs. These temporary plans typically have a duration of three to twelve months. When purchasing through a private insurance company, make sure that the company is licensed to sell insurance and that you know exactly what your plan covers and does not cover. As with all plans, you should carefully balance affordability with depth of coverage, even if you anticipate only having the plan over a short period of time.
With some diligent planning and guidance, you can find short term health insurance between jobs that will serve as a bridge of coverage until you can secure insurance with your new employer. With health insurance being of such high importance along with the uncertainties of life, you should take the same measures when obtaining short term insurance as you would when enrolling for the long term. You just never know when you will need to call on your insurance for a medical need.