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As COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives, unemployment has reached a record high, jumping to 14.7% as of April 2020. There are many things to consider when assessing these new statistics and, as an employer or an employee, it’s important to ask yourself this question: What health insurance options are there for those that have experienced job loss due to Coronavirus?
If you’ve lost your job due to Coronavirus or have experienced a reduction in hours, here’s what you can do:
If you’ve lost your health plan through your job you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you have lost your coverage within the past 60 days, or you expect to lose coverage in the next 60 days, you are also eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you have experienced a reduction of hours and are part of a Marketplace plan, you should update your application to report any household income changes within 30 days. This may lead to more savings than you’re getting now.
If you have experienced a furlough, depending on the status of your coverage, you might be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. You might also qualify for a premium tax credit to assist your Marketplace coverage payment.
For people with COBRA continuation coverage, you may be able to qualify for the Special Enrollment Period. Based on your pre-COBRA coverage, you have 60 days to enroll in Marketplace coverage. You may also qualify for premium tax credits, only if you end your COBRA continuation coverage.
If you have lost your job, but your company did not offer coverage, you typically do not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Job loss on its own does not make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you are unable to pay your insurance premiums due to Coronavirus there are some things to consider: First, check with your insurance providers to see about extensions. Usually, there is a grace period determined by state law. If you receive financial assistance with your premiums, there is a three-month grace period where your plan cannot be terminated for failure to pay premiums.
If you know that you qualified for a Special Enrollment Period, but missed the deadline due to Coronavirus impact, there is a chance you can be eligible for another Special Enrollment Period.
As employers continue to understand how to effectively run their businesses throughout Coronavirus, we want to help you understand how to remain covered and safe. Here is a list of our COVID-19 resources that may be helpful as you work to understand what’s next for you and your company.