If you are unemployed you may be able to get an affordable health insurance plan through the Marketplace, with savings based on your income and household size. You may also qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Your household size and income, not your employment status, determine what health coverage you are eligible for and how much help you will get paying for coverage.
YOUR OPTIONS DEPEND ON YOUR HOUSEHOLD INCOME
When you apply for Marketplace coverage you will estimate your income for the current calendar year.
MEDICAID, CHIP, AND INSURANCE PLANS THROUGH THE MARKETPLACE
When you fill out a Marketplace application, you will find out if you qualify for any of these types of coverage:
1. A Marketplace insurance plan. You may qualify for premium tax credits and savings on deductibles, copayments, and other out-of-pocket costs based on your household size and income. Some people with low incomes may wind up paying very small premiums. Learn about getting lower costs on a Marketplace insurance plan.
2. Medicaid. Medicaid provides coverage to millions of Americans with limited incomes or disabilities. Many states have expanded Medicaid to cover all people below certain income levels.
3. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP provides coverage for children, and in some states pregnant women, in families with incomes too high for Medicaid but too low to afford private insurance.
After you finish your Marketplace application, you will get an eligibility determination that tells you what kind of coverage you and others in your household qualify for.
COBRA COVERAGE AND THE MARKETPLACE
When you lose job-based insurance, you may be offered COBRA continuation coverage by your former employer.
1. If you’re losing job-based coverage and haven’t signed up for COBRA continuation coverage, learn about your rights and options under COBRA from the U.S. Department of Labor.
2. If you decide not to take COBRA coverage, you can enroll in a Marketplace plan instead. Losing job-based coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you have 60 days to enroll in a health plan, even if it’s outside the annual Open Enrollment Period.