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Losing Health Insurance Due To COVID-19? Options Are Available

Did you recently lose employer-based health insurance due to the Coronavirus Pandemic? Here are some health insurance options for laid-off workers and those currently uninsured.

Coverage Options if you lost employer-based health insurance

If you’ve recently lost health insurance at work due to COVID-19, you will likely have (3) different health insurance options available to you. They will include:

COBRA / State Continuation – COBRA is a health insurance program that allows an eligible employee and his or her dependents the continued benefits of health insurance coverage in the case that an employee loses his or her job or experiences a reduction of work hours. If you work for a company that employees 20 or more employees, you will likely receive a COBRA offer letter within 14 days of your health insurance ending. This offer will include the full cost premium of your employer-based health insurance and enrollment options. If you work for a company with less than 20 employees, there may be state continuation options available to maintain coverage at full cost. To simplify, COBRA gives you the opportunity to keep your same employer-based health plan at full cost, minus your employer contribution. The monthly cost will likely be 50-90% more than you are currently paying since the employer contributions will be removed.

Health Insurance Marketplace (Individual Major Medical Plans) - Losing employer-based health insurance creates a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for consumers to enroll on the health insurance marketplace mid-year. Consumers will have 60 days to enroll on the Marketplace from the date they lost employer-based health insurance. Documentation will be required by the Marketplace to prove that actual employer-based coverage was lost. Cost reducing subsidies may be available based on household income. Marketplace plans cover pre-existing conditions day 1 of the plan. Marketplace plans are a good solution if your household qualifies for a subsidy or you have specific coverage needs for pre-existing conditions, maternity, and costly prescriptions.

Short Term Health Insurance Plans – Short term medical plans are a popular cost savings option for individuals and families who do not qualify for a Marketplace subsidy. Short term medical plans are usually 70% less expensive than full cost marketplace plans and may include lower deductibles. There is a trade-off. Short term medical plans have simplified underwriting questions and do NOT cover pre-existing conditions. Notable exclusions include maternity, mental health, and current prescriptions. Short term medical plans have coverage duration's from 30 days to 36 months.

Coverage Options if you are uninsured:

The health insurance marketplace is only available to those with mid-year special enrollment period events currently, like losing employer-based coverage. Short Term Health Insurance plans are available to uninsured consumers anytime without requiring a qualifying event.

Looking Ahead

The economic disruption caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The team at Strategic Benefits is available to assist with health insurance enrollments and product education. Please contact us at 402-740-1530 or to learn more.

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