Unemployment Health Care Options
If you are uninsured or are losing your insurance due to recent unemployment, you do have options to regain health coverage. Depending on your financial situation, only certain options may be affordable. But any level of coverage will help protect you and your wallet down the line.
Depending on the size of your employer, if you were covered by your employer’s health, dental and vision plans, you may qualify for COBRA insurance. Your employer or their administrator will send you a COBRA packet which will outline the benefits you are eligible to continue.
COBRA premiums can be expensive and often include an administration fee. Pay close attention to your deadlines to enroll and pay.
For more information about COBRA, click here.
If you are married and your spouse has group insurance through his/her employer. Generally, you will have 30 days to add a spouse/children to coverage.
Should your spouse work and have employer coverage, you may be eligible for coverage due to your qualifying event (loss of job coverage). Contact the human resources department for your spouse’s employer to find out if you qualify. There will be a deadline to notify the company and enroll.
UNDER AGE 26
If you are under the age of 26, you may still be eligible to become a dependent on your parent’s insurance. You do not have to live with your parents, be single or in college. If you have a spouse and children, they would not be eligible to have coverage with you under your parents’ plan. Your parents would have to add you as a dependent to their employer plan. There is a deadline to add you as their dependent due to your loss of coverage so they would have to take action on your behalf.
INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE PLANS
At the current time, you may buy individual plans on the Federal Exchange at www.healthcare.gov or directly from a licensed agent/broker or insurance carrier selling in Oklahoma.
Your loss of health insurance through your employer qualifies you to buy individual insurance through what is called a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This period lasts for 60 days upon the date you lose your employer health insurance. If you miss this opportunity, your next enrollment period would be during the Annual Open Enrollment Period during November 1st through December 15th of each year. This applies both on the Federal Exchange or if you buy directly from the licensed agent or company. Find out if you are eligible for federal premium assistance by visiting www.healthcare.gov.
SoonerCare for Kids under age 19 and adults ages 19-64 will cover health, dental and vision. See www.ohca.org/soonercare for details, eligibility, application and what is considered as income. To apply, visit: www.mysoonercare.org.