How to Get Health Insurance when Laid Off. Insurance companies in the United States offer different kinds of coverage all with different kinds of clauses. A health insurance policy provides coverage for your medical expenses, especially during serious illnesses or hospitalization. You need this coverage as medical expenses for all varieties of treatments are soaring worldwide. While on job you are usually insured by your employer. However, what happens if you are laid off? Are you still entitled to receive the health benefits or do you have to get a new policy? Here are some tips that will help shed light on the situation.
Inquire about the COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), which allows the previous employer to continue the health coverage of a laid off employee. This law also provides coverage to the dependents of a laid off employee.
Find out if your company qualifies for COBRA. Usually, a company needs to have an employee size of 18 or more in order to extend the COBRA benefits to its laid off employees.
Inform your company or previous employer that you would like to take advantage of COBRA and want to continue with the health insurance coverage offered by them. You will have to complete the necessary forms and may still have to pay separately every month in order to stay covered.
Visit the local unemployment office to learn more about COBRA and the extent of health benefits you are able to receive during the period of unemployment.
Learn more about the extent of the coverage. It is possible to get an extended coverage up to 18 months from the date of being laid off. Under the provisions of COBRA, one can remain unemployed or join another company while continuing to be part of the group insurance policy of the company from which they were laid off.
Call your nearest insurance agent and inquire about getting a policy in if you are laid off and your employer does not qualify under COBRA .
Check the status and nature of employment in the company you work with. If you are a temporary employee and need to buy a separate health insurance, you may not qualify for COBRA benefits when laid off. Before you sign a work agreement with your prospective employer, read the contract papers carefully and look out for clauses that indicates your insurance status in the event of being laid off.