Getting laid off is a difficult and humbling experience. On top of the stress that comes from losing your employment, worrying about bills and finding a new job, you also need to decide how to handle your health insurance. Fortunately, there are options for health care insurance that will ensure you are covered during your life change. Having the right health insurance is essential; it allows you to keep your well-being in check with annual check-ups and protects you in case you experience an unexpected illness or accident. Follow these three simple steps to determine options that make the most sense for you:
- Assess your health care needs. If you are healthy and only see a doctor once or twice a year for check-ups, it is typically more affordable to purchase an individual plan directly from a private insurer or through the online marketplace. If you need frequent medical attention or have a chronic condition, you may be able to continue your former employer’s health plan under Cobra (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). Typically, laid-off employees can stay on this plan for up to 18 months after termination. Either way do the math to determine what makes sense for your needs and budget.
- If you choose to sign up for your own individual or family plan, you can use this subsidy estimator to find out if you are eligible for financial assistance, which will help lower the cost of your health plan even more.
- Compare plans and find the best fit for you. . Visit bcbsm.com/myblue to compare options and get a quote. Our health plan advisors and agents are also standing by to help you, just call: 888-899-4931.
You can enroll in an individual health plan during open enrollment, which runs through January 31, 2016. You can also sign up for an individual plan during special enrollment periods, which are when you experience certain life events like getting married, having a baby or getting laid off and losing employer-sponsored health coverage.
Health insurance can be confusing, we’re here to help. Find out more about how a health plan can protect you with the help of these blogs:
- What Does My Health Plan Cover?
- What to Do at 26 to Secure Your Own Health Insurance
- A Guide for Recent Grads: Should You Stay on Your Parent’s Health Insurance?
Photo credit: Mike Liu