A lot of people are in this boat; they are either unemployed, lost their job, self-employed or have no specific source of income. Some others are employed but their employer does not offer health insurance programs. These categories of people need to find health insurance too. They need to enjoy the benefits, which come with having health insurance. This article seeks to explain how such people can still buy an insurance policy.
How to Buy Health Insurance Policy without Job or Income
Table of Content
- 1. Parental Coverage
- 2. Pre-existing conditions Plan
- 3. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
- 4. Workers Compensation
- 5. Medicaid
- 6. Medicare
- 7. Individual Health Insurance
- 8. Short-term health insurance policy
- 9. Group Health insurance
- 10. Freelancer’s union
- 11. Group Health Expenses Sharing
- 12. Health Insurance Cards
- 13. Self-Insurance
1. Parental Coverage
This is for people who are young-between the ages of 0 and 26. Such people can be included in the same health insurance plan with your parents. It doesn’t matter if you are married or living far away from home; as long as you are still within the country, you can take up this option.
If you are married or living far away from home, you can still take up this option. If you are not financially dependent on your parents, you can get them to cover you under their plan and then you can repay them with your own portion of the premium costs. This is the easiest and cheapest way to buy health insurance without a job.
2. Pre-existing conditions Plan
If you cannot get health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition, you can opt for a pre-existing plan. This type of health coverage is organized by the state for people with pre-existing conditions.
3. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
If you were previously employed with a company that offers health insurance and then for some reason or the other, you lost your job, you can continue your health insurance plan under this act. However, this type of health insurance policy is usually expensive and less favorable for people who have lost their jobs. When you lose your job, one of the things that happen is that you are no longer able to afford your previous lifestyle. So it may be difficult to continue to pay premiums on this type of health insurance.
4. Workers Compensation
All states have Workers Compensation programs. This program is designed to protect employees against work related injuries. Whether you are still employed by a company or not, if you are treating an injury that was sustained in the line of duty, then your employer is mandated to offer you free treatments under the workers compensation scheme.
Medicaid is not only for the unemployed. Medicaid is also designed to offer coverage to people who earn low-income. Although, each state has its own specific requirements used to determine qualification for Medicaid. You have to visit Medicaid to find out if you meet the requirements for health insurance coverage under the scheme.
You could also obtain health insurance through Medicare especially if you are above the ages of sixty five. Medicare is also a government run program which is administered by Social Security Administration.
7. Individual Health Insurance
If you don’t find a suitable option amongst the options listed above, you can buy individual health insurance policy. Yes, just like you can buy your car insurance or business insurance by yourself, you can obtain individual health insurance policies too. Although this may be more expensive than group health insurance such as the one that your employers buy for you, it works for unemployed or self-employed people.
However, this kind of health insurance policy may not cover people with pre-existing conditions. The premiums are also usually higher. To keep the premiums lower for this kind of insurance policy; you should choose a higher out-of-pocket expenses rate. This is known as insurance deductibles and the higher your deductibles, the lower your premium rates.
8. Short-term health insurance policy
If you are in-between jobs are considering taking up an appointment soon, you would be better off getting a short-term health insurance policy which provides cover for a short period with low premium rates too.
9. Group Health insurance
If you belong to any group or union, this is one of the cheapest ways to get health insurance without a job. With this method you can have access to the same cheaper premium rates that you would have had if you were employed. You would be obtaining health insurance as an individual but under the umbrella of a group. Also, the premiums would be paid for by you.
However, some groups or unions buy insurance policies for their members and also pay for it; it all depends on the nature of the group and what they offer. You should find out if there are any such benefits in any of the groups which you currently belong to. If there aren’t any; you should do a research on the groups and unions that offer such benefits in your area and then become a member.
10. Freelancer’s union
If you are a freelancer, you can enjoy this benefit too. Most states and cities have unions of freelancers who come together under a group to promote their collective interests. These unions sometimes have group health insurance plans which they offer to their members too.
11. Group Health Expenses Sharing
This is a traditional health insurance method. It involves a group of people coming together to pool resources together in order to pay for one another’s medical expenses. Sometimes, monthly contributions are made to the group’s purse and when anybody falls ill, the funds used to pay for the sick would come out of the group’s purse.
Basically, the group acts as its own health insurance company. If you are going with this method, ensure that it is with a group that has been in existence for long and has a good reputation too.
12. Health Insurance Cards
You can also think of purchasing health insurance discount cards. These cards give you access to some forms of discount when you visit hospitals for treatment.
There is always the option of self-insurance for any type of insurance policy, be it health or home or Vehicle. For self-Insurance, you don’t have to go through any company; all you need to do is to set some money aside from time to time which you would only touch when there is a medical emergency. Although, this method may not be good enough for people who fall ill often; or are not financially disciplined.