Health insurance is important to families now more than ever—so if you’ve been furloughed or lost your job you might be worried about what coverage options are available.
It can be hard to navigate the various options available when it comes to health insurance.
So where do you start?
Experts say the first step is to ask your employer if they plan to continue providing coverage.
That’s the case for Aaron Wilfork—who’s been placed on furlough after the restaurant he worked for closed.
“Our company is still letting us keep the insurance, they haven’t canceled the policy so we’re still able to keep our insurance, you just have to make your biweekly payments at the same rate as you were paying, but being that there’s no payroll coming in, they can’t pull it out of a paycheck,” said Wilfork.
For Wilfork—the biweekly price to insure himself and three kids is three hundred dollars. If you’ve been laid off you likely won’t be entitled to those benefits.
That leaves you with a couple of options.
Elect in Cobra—a federal program that allows you to keep your employer’s insurance for up to three years.
However, that requires you to foot the entire bill—which can get expensive.
That’s why Florida Blue recommends calling an insurance provider within 60 days of losing your benefits.
“Talk to someone about your options…Are you eligible to apply for an affordable care act plan? Are you able to potentially get financial assistance through the affordable care act? There’s a lot of different options there, each one may be a little different because there’s a lot of different rules and restrictions. And everything is a little different on individual circumstances,” said Christine DeNavem, Florida Blue spokesperson.
Christie DeNave says if you’re already insured through the Affordable Care Act and are seeing a cut in the number of hours you’re working—you can reapply to see if you qualify for additional financial assistance to lower your premiums.