3.3 million workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, the largest weekly total ever and nearly quadruple the last record set in 1982. A good chunk of them likely lost their health insurance as well, for themselves and potentially their families.’ data-reactid=”17″>Nearly 3.3 million workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, the largest weekly total ever and nearly quadruple the last record set in 1982. A good chunk of them likely lost their health insurance as well, for themselves and potentially their families.
“Our health coverage system is tricky. Your eligibility depends on where you work, who you’re married to, your income, the state you live in,” said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on national health issues.
“Basic life events like changing or losing jobs, getting divorce, blowing out the candles on your birthday cake, all can change the eligibility for health insurance you had yesterday,” she said.
Here are your options.
When it comes to layoffs, employees who worked for companies with more than 20 employees and were enrolled in health coverage, may be eligible to get COBRA, a law that allows employees to continue their health insurance coverage after leaving employment. This is a good option for those who want to continue their current plan, but it’s also typically the costliest option.
“If you lose your job, you’re eligible for COBRA benefits, where you would pay 102% of the premium,” said Dr. John Graves, an assistant professor in health policy at Vanderbilt University. “Often, that is exceptionally expensive.”
37 states at the moment.’ data-reactid=”51″>Medicaid is the most-affordable option for people who have lost their health care coverage. The expanded Medicaid programs, which cover low-income adults, are available in 37 states at the moment.