insurance

Health Insurance Options Exist for the Newly Unemployed

Special enrollment periods for Obamacare plans and expanded Medicaid coverage will help people who are suddenly out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the White House will not reopen the federal health care exchanges, many unemployed folks will still be able to sign up for an Obamacare plan, including the millions of workers who have lost employer-provided coverage so far because of the coronavirus crisis. Losing your job is a qualifying life event that allows you to get coverage via the federal marketplace outside the normal open enrollment period. To do so, you must apply within 60 days of losing access to your employer-based insurance.

Eleven of the states with their own health-insurance exchanges, plus the District of Columbia, will offer special enrollment periods, allowing anyone who is eligible under the Affordable Care Act rules to sign up. Those states are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Idaho is the only state with its own exchange that will not be holding a special enrollment period.

In addition, 36 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid coverage so that adults with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level can qualify. Note that unemployment benefits count as income under Medicaid rules, but the expanded benefits included as part of recent legislation to address the coronavirus outbreak will not affect eligibility.

Uncle Sam will also pay health care providers to treat uninsured individuals for COVID-19, using money from two recent coronavirus aid packages. To be eligible for the funds, health care providers are not allowed to balance-bill their patients.

Most Popular

Planning to Sell Your Home in Retirement? Downsize Costs Along With Space
Budgeting

Planning to Sell Your Home in Retirement? Downsize Costs Along With Space

In this hot real estate market, consider the costs of buying and selling a house along with the expenses associated with your new digs.
November 13, 2020
What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration
Politics

What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration

The Kiplinger Letter forecasts President-Elect Joe Biden’s biggest priorities -- and the likelihood of progress on them.
November 19, 2020
The 13 Best Healthcare Stocks to Buy for 2021
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

The 13 Best Healthcare Stocks to Buy for 2021

Most of the best healthcare stocks for 2021 will have some sort of ties to COVID, whether it's producing a vaccine or cure, or benefiting from the vir…
November 20, 2020

Recommended

Medicare Mania: Some Basics to Know During Open Enrollment
Medicare

Medicare Mania: Some Basics to Know During Open Enrollment

What’s Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D and what do they cover? What are Medicare Advantage plans? And how about the deadlines involved? There’s a lo…
November 21, 2020
Early Retirement Means Finding Health Insurance Before Medicare
Making Your Money Last

Early Retirement Means Finding Health Insurance Before Medicare

Cover the gap with health insurance before you're eligible for Medicare enrollment.
November 20, 2020
Making Wise Choices During Open Enrollment
health insurance

Making Wise Choices During Open Enrollment

Contributing Editor Lisa Gerstner runs through the new variables of the 2020 open enrollment season. Also, hosts Sandy Block and David Muhlbaum talk a…
November 17, 2020
What the New President Means for Your Money
Politics

What the New President Means for Your Money

President-Elect Biden wants more consumer protections and perks for the middle class and seniors.
November 17, 2020