Obamacare For the Unemployed – Health Insurance For the Unemployed

Obamacare For the Unemployed – Health Insurance For the Unemployed

obamacare for unemployed

Whether you lost your job or are thinking about doing so, there are some good options for unemployed people. One of the most popular is to enroll in a health plan through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, also known as Obamacare.

Unemployed individuals can get hefty subsidies on the exchange. The Biden administration announced this financial help on Tuesday.


The Marketplace helps unemployed people find health insurance. It also lets you compare plans and get financial help to pay for them.

Depending on your state, you can enroll in a Marketplace plan anytime during the open enrollment period. In many states, you also can enroll outside the open enrollment period if you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP).

To be eligible for an SEP, consumers must have lost other coverage (including job-based coverage), which usually triggers a 60-day window to enroll.

In addition, the federal government and many states require documentation of eligibility to qualify for SEPs. This can make it difficult for individuals to document a loss of employment as the reason for their SEP.

Nonetheless, the federal government and state Marketplaces can do more to facilitate enrollment by broadening the eligibility criteria of the SEP. This could be done by expanding the SEP to include anyone who loses their employer-based coverage, or by allowing continuous enrollment for this population.


Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides free or low-cost health care coverage to people with limited incomes. It also covers children, pregnant women and the elderly, and some disabled individuals who meet specific income requirements.

The ACA also made it easier for unemployed people to get affordable, compliant health insurance by providing subsidies to lower the monthly cost. You can find out if you qualify for these subsidies by applying on the Marketplace website, and your household size and income determine whether you’ll save money or receive help paying your premiums.

To help people who lose their job-based coverage stay covered, many states have Medicaid programs that provide continuation health benefits. These programs cover people who were previously enrolled in employer-sponsored plans or government-funded plans, and are often available through special enrollment periods (SEPs).


If you are unemployed and lose your job-based health insurance, you have the option of continuing it through a program called COBRA. This federal law has been in place since 1986 and allows employees to keep their group health coverage if they have lost it for certain reasons.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires private insurers for employer-sponsored group health plans to continue offering the plan after a “qualifying event,” such as a job loss, reduction in hours, divorce, or death of a covered person.

For people who don’t qualify for a subsidy, the cost of a COBRA plan is usually high. For those who have lower incomes, a better option may be to shop for an ACA state marketplace plan.

The bill also provides a six-month subsidy for some people who have lost employer-based health insurance because of the pandemic. But not every person who loses insurance qualifies, and the subsidy is not available to people who are fired for gross misconduct or those who have Medicare or another plan through their spouse’s job.

Short-term plans

One of the most important employee benefits, when you are employed, is health insurance (paid for partially by your employer). When you lose that coverage, you need a way to protect yourself and your family.

Generally, you have three options when you are unemployed: COBRA, the Affordable Care Act subsidized marketplace or government insurance like Medicaid. Depending on your state, you may also be eligible for a job-based plan.

However, many people don’t have enough savings to cover medical expenses if they get sick. So, they avoid seeking care or delay treatment.

This can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment, which is not good for your health. And, it could result in a higher out-of-pocket cost for you and your family.

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About the Author: Raymond Donovan