9 Million Americans Lose Their Health Insurance amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
It is tragic to see how the increasing cases of the novel coronavirus are seemingly endless. The pandemic’s devastating impact let to the shutting down of numerous businesses. Besides that, it also put millions of Americans at the risk of losing their healthcare insurance. As the virus broke out in the United States, the number of unemployment claims went up to more than 20 million. This is roughly around 9 million workers who also lost their employer-provided healthcare insurance. It thus causes families to worry about the uncertain costs of health care and financial difficulties in these testing times.
When Losing a Job also means Losing Heath Insurance.
Most of the Americans solely depend on the health insurance their employers provide. The reason is that not only can they have more health benefits, but they also have money-saving opportunities because of the shared cost it offers. As the coronavirus pandemic hit in America, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed and projected to continue with an additional 30% for the next coming weeks. This would also mean losses in health insurance coverage.
Most people whose families depend on employer-provided healthcare plans are at risk of losing their health benefits amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, many would have come to realize that their dependency on their employers for their health insurance is irrational. This kind of arrangement was not a good idea, especially on a public health emergency such as this. Therefore, people are starting to move to a different healthcare plan on a private healthcare provider or a Mass Health such as Medicaid programs.
Cost of Health Insurance
The greatest challenge of most of the families in America faces the significantly high cost of the country’s health insurance. This is one of the reasons why most Americans depend on their employer’s healthcare plans. Aside from its high cost, insurance also offers limited options that don’t always compliment their and their family’s needs.
America is one of the highest healthcare costs around the world. It has spent more than $3 million on healthcare in the year 2018. A study has shown that spending on healthcare services will grow faster than the cost of other goods and services in the country. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is more likely to increase the country’s healthcare cost. This is due to the growing demands of COVID-19 testing and treatment costs. An increase in the demand for the treatment for COVID-19 costs around $35,000. One can surely say that this will increase in the days to come. Sadly, due to a global recession, not everyone will then afford it. This is especially true for those who do not have insurance cover.
What to Do When You Lose Your Health Insurance
Due to the increasing cost of healthcare in the country, the government has come up with numerous options for Americans to secure healthcare insurance. If you have lost your job together with your health insurance in this crisis, you are eligible for a 60-day enrollment on the Affordable Care Act i.e., Obamacare. The annual enrollment period ended a few months ago. However, President Donald Trump and his administration are requesting a special sign-up window to extend an opportunity for millions of Americans during the public health crisis.
Another special enrollment is available for those who had a qualifying event. This includes a death in the family, marriage, or getting pregnant. Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is another solution to those who lost their job. This program is a short-term option to continue their employer-provided health insurance. It lets them have enforcement for up to 18 months. However, they will have to pay the entire cost.
If you lost your job, but your company does not provide health insurance, you are eligible to apply for Medicaid. Medicaid program qualifies an individual or family that has a low annual income. Since this is a funded program of the federal government and the states, the program will vary depends on what state you live in. Check Medicaid standards and requirements on your local state.
However, if you never had insurance and are not eligible to apply for Medicaid, check other qualifying options at the healthcare.gov website. Also, there are dozens of states who run their healthcare insurance options. This includes but not limited to Columbia, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Washington, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, and many more. Check with your local state if they are also offering the same.
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