Friday, February 20, 2009

How do People Who Get Laid-off get Health Insruance?

Posted By: Madeleine Brooks

Every day I read about how companies are laying off more and more employees because of the downturn in the U.S. economy. These former employees may also have had a health insurance plan through the company that they used to work for. What happens once these employees are laid off? Does there health insurance end as soon as their job does?

Health insurance policies cover medical expenses for varieties of diseases and treatments. If you recently got laid off there are a few steps in which you should take to find out if you can still receive the health insurance you had. Here are the steps to find out:

1. Ask about COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). COBRA was an act passed in 1985 to provide laid-off workers with their continuing health insurance if they lost their job.

2. Make sure that the company you once worked for qualifies for COBRA. The qualifications for COBRA is that the company offers health insurance, has twenty or more employees and that they company is still currently in business.

3. Contact the company you were just laid off for to inform them you would like to enroll in COBRA as well as keeping the insurance policy you originally had. Most likely you will have to fill out some paper work and also have to pay the insurance monthly in order to be insured.

4. Do some research to learn more about COBRA and to see if there are benefits that you are able to receive during your time of unemployment.

5. Learn about the coverage you have under COBRA. There is a possibility you can still have your health insurance up to 18 months from the date you got laid off from the previous company. You can also accept a job at a different company while still being on the insurance policy of your old company.

6. If your company doesn't qualify for COBRA, contact your local insurance agent to see how you can receive an insurance policy.

Having COBRA definitely helps a bit of the way. However, there is always a downfall to something beneficial. It is said that 75-85% of employers pick up the tab for their employees' health insurance. If an employee gets laid off, the entire bill that once was being paid by your employer is now placed in the palm of your hand. Health insurance sky rockets and you as the former employee will be paying out of pocket for your health coverage.

How can you find Health Insurance once you get laid off? People try to hold out until they are age 65 when they can start collecting Medicare. However, some people won't be able to wait until 65 to see the money, so what should you do? You can:

1. See if you qualify for COBRA

2. If you are married, try to get under your spouse's health insurance plan until you find another job that will provide you with coverage.

3. Do your best to find a job and do extensive research to find out their health insurance policies.

4. Insure yourself for health insurance. However it is very time consuming, difficult and hard to insure yourself when you do not have a job. A lot of health insurance policies don't cover certain ailments and illnesses that one might have. The more sicknesses one has, the higher the insurance rates will be for that person.

5. You can take a gamble and see what would happen if you went to a doctor and receive a bill. You can talk out your options with the doctor to see how you can pay them for the visit and treatment.

6. Try to sustain a healthy lifestyle as best as possible.

Health insurance is so expensive and when you get laid off from a job, does not make the situation any better. By reviewing these steps, it will be helpful for you to understand the necessary actions you should take.


No comments:

Post a Comment