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  • Writer's pictureAhsan Malyk

Where To Get Health Insurance Without A Job?

The majority of Americans of working age are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance, but if a job with health insurance is lost, it can be difficult for the person to continue having coverage. Fortunately, folks who are unemployed and in need of health insurance while they look for work have a variety of possibilities.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers special enrollment periods for people who have lost their jobs, the ability to extend current coverage for a while, and access to publicly funded healthcare programmes that provide complete coverage.

Especially because adding a fee during a period of unemployment can put a strain on your budget, you may be wondering "how much is health insurance without a job?". The type of health care coverage you are eligible for determines how much you will spend.

Continue reading to discover how to obtain health insurance without a job and what to anticipate from the numerous possibilities that become available to you in the event that your career is lost.


The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is whence COBRA derives its name. It was first implemented in 1985 and permits people to keep employer-sponsored health insurance after specific events, such as a change in their own employment status or the termination of a spouse's or parent's employment.

Events that make one eligible for COBRA coverage include

Examples of possibilities that might let you get COBRA coverage are those mentioned above. Normally, you will have 60 days to determine whether to elect COBRA benefits. However, you'll discover that COBRA health insurance coverage might be pricey because you pay the entire amount as you research how to get good health insurance without a job.

If your employer didn't cover at least 50% of the premium, you might be allowed to use tax credits to your COBRA coverage, but you might opt to use the special enrollment period for a marketplace plan instead.

Medicare, CHIP, and Medicaid

These three programmes are run on a federal and state level by the federal and state governments. The programmes you qualify for depend on your age and situation.


For people 65 and older, Medicare is a federal health insurance programme. You may apply for Medicare Parts A and B if you are unemployed and at least 65 years old. There are supplemental health insurance options that fill in Medicare's coverage gaps.


Federal funding is used to support the state-run administration of Medicaid. Your income and assets must be below the state's maximum income threshold to qualify. To learn more about eligibility, contact the Medicaid program in your state.


The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a federal programme for families who don't have access to health insurance yet make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid. Additionally managed at the state level, CHIP varies in price and coverage from one state to the next. However, all states provide complete pediatric health care, which includes emergency services, eyewear, vaccinations, dental and visual care, and more.

Insurance by ACA

If your annual income is too high to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, you also have access to ACA-compliant insurance, sometimes referred to as Obamacare plans.

Through the marketplace, health insurance exchanges, and use of advance premium tax credits, you might be able to purchase health insurance even if you don't have a job. Anyone earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level is eligible for advance premium tax credits (FPL). In 2021, the federal poverty line for an individual is $13,590, while the 400% line is $54,360.

As the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) abolished the subsidy cliff until 2025, you can still be eligible for a premium subsidy. This means that a person who makes 400% of the FPL or less can still benefit from the premium tax credit and lower their premium costs.

Tax credits are available to people and families with incomes under $54k and $111k, respectively.

Plans that comply with the ACA must provide 10 fundamental benefits:

  • before to and following a child's birth

  • Visits for prevention

  • non-hospital services

  • trips to emergency rooms

  • Intensive therapy (care in hospital)

  • medicines on prescription

  • Services for substance use disorders and mental health

  • testing services

  • services for children, such as dental and vision care

  • services for facilitation and rehabilitation

Private health insurance for individuals

You can acquire an individual private health insurance plan from a non-government exchange. Your alternatives for coverage are more varied when you shop on a private market like eHealth. Additionally, you can look for ACA-compliant plans and even submit a subsidy application through eHealth by proxy.

Remember that the ARPA changed the subsidy requirements, so you might now be eligible for help even if you weren't. Enrollees can no longer contribute more than 8.5% of their salary toward their insurance coverage, down from nearly 10% under the earlier restrictions.

Immediate health coverage

A sort of restricted health insurance that only covers you for a few months is known as short-term health insurance. It can be used in situations if you are unable to obtain another type of coverage and your job loss disqualifies you from the ACA's special enrollment period.

As long as the duration of the policy is less than a year, you can purchase a short-term health insurance plan that lasts as long as you require. The most typical application of this kind of plan is to fill a coverage gap until the start of the ACA's Open Enrollment period.

Plans for catastrophic insurance

Catastrophic insurance plans offer protection in a major health catastrophe, such as an unforeseen illness or accident. Still, they only cover a minimum of three primary care visits and don't provide routine medical care.

Before the plan pays for primary medical care, you must first achieve your deductible through out-of-pocket costs. Catastrophic insurance plans frequently have high deductibles, but if you just need coverage for an unexpected medical emergency, this may be to your advantage.

Taking out a plan with a relative

If you meet the requirements, you might be permitted to enroll in a family member's plan. A family member might modify their current plan to include their spouse and minor children.

A spouse may be added up to 60 days after marriage, and dependents may be added if you claim them as such on your taxes. You can also include dependent relatives.

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