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How Does Health Insurance Work during Unemployment

Updated : August 4th, 2020

Are you out of work and uninsured workers in United States? Do you need health coverage and want to know where to get free care for jobless employee like you?

In today’s economic crisis, one of the most important issues for laid-offs, besides loss of paycheck, is health insurance. It’s important to have, but it also comes at a high price. Jobless claims are increasing and you cannot meet the expense to cover your medical problems. If you are employed, you possibly get insurance coverage but if you are unemployed, you will have to find other ways to get adequately insured.

How to Get Health Insurance When You are Unemployed

So if you are concerned to get free medicine or drugs for your health treatment, here’s how to get it.

  1. Plenty of information is available on the Internet so learn options for getting health insurance. You can also find information at your local unemployment office.
  2. Explore COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), a federal law that provides eligible individuals and their dependents with the ability to continue health insurance benefits during periods of unemployment.
  3. Check out your state’s coverage policy. You may meet the criteria for continuation of coverage depending on your earlier job.
  4. Search for individual health coverage options on the Internet. Based on the state you reside in, you may meet the requirements for cheap individual health plan when unemployed.
  5. Speak to a health insurance agent and seek advice on the most appropriate coverage while unemployed.
  6. Check out HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) of 1996 that permits insurance for some individuals who lose group coverage. It has a separate method of charging the premium and provides coverage for at least two health insurance policies that do not oblige a pre-existing medical condition exclusion period. Ask if you are eligible, as it would also depend on your COBRA coverage wherein you must have used up to eighteen months of COBRA in order to qualify.
  7. See if you qualify for Medicaid. If you are disabled, above 65 years of age or if you are a woman and pregnant, you may qualify for Medicaid. It offers cheap insurance for people with low income families. You can contact Medicaid directly by visiting their official website.
  8. Get in touch with some of the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture drugs as they have certain programs for individuals who are uninsured. The financial assistance is limited to the cost of medication and do not include hospital visit or doctor expenses.

These are just few tips, there are so many other resources that you can collect from to get the money you need. This involves non-profit organizations that are ready to help you cover medical expenses.

Other Health Insurance Plans Offered By Many States

Many states now provide high-risk pools which make health care available for people who are not eligible for getting health insurance coverage.

English: U.S. Health Insurance Status (Under 65)
English: U.S. Health Insurance Status (Under 65) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These programs help certain uninsurable individuals to obtain health insurance coverage. The eligible people may include those who have been rejected by other health insurers or have had health insurance benefits reduced or certain medical conditions excluded. It may also include individuals who have a qualifying health condition or have been unwillingly terminated from another health insurance plan. Based on the availability of funds, enrollment is limited in some states. Because of the limited enrollments, it has become necessary to establish waiting lists. Other states provide options of converting a group health plan to a non group policy. The conversion policy in most of the cases is expensive but the primary advantage of choosing a conversion policy is that a person cannot be rejected for coverage and it may not include a new pre-existing condition exclusion period. These law governing conversion policies can also vary from state to state so it’s better to contact state insurance commissioner’s office for any additional information.

Maintaining Health Insurance during Termination

You have limited time to decide on health care options. It’s important to review and explore all the options carefully for maintaining coverage as soon as possible after your employment terminates.

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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