Hoosier State residents that are not presently working don’t have to forfeit quality medical coverage at a reasonable cost. Local, state, and federal programs can help obtain benefits at a cost that fits within your budget. We help you review plan options in your area, and easily enroll all members of your family.
Health insurance for the unemployed in Indiana is very affordable and easy to apply for. Usually, if someone is not working, reducing medical costs is a priority when comparing different plans. All of the large providers, such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHeathcare (short-term), MDWise, CareSource, and Ambetter offer many low-cost options through our website. Low-deductible comprehensive plans are offered, along with lesser-expensive plans, such as HSA and catastrophic options.
When Your Income Reduces – Low-Cost Coverage Is Available
We understand what happens when you no longer have a paycheck. We help find affordable coverage so you can quickly apply online and get covered. Whether you lost a job voluntarily or involuntarily, several options are possible. And you can keep coverage for a month, or until you are eligible for Medicare. In some situations, Medicaid-eligibility may also be available. The choice is yours.
However, it is important to be aware of Open Enrollment deadlines, since during the OE period, you can enroll for a subsidized Marketplace plan and avoid the 2.5% household income penalty. CHIP (discussed later) may also be available for your children. Open enrollment typically begins in November and lasts for three months.
One of the most popular options for persons that either are or will soon be unemployed is a short-term policy (ST) (You can view details here). It is the most inexpensive type of health insurance in Indiana, and typically takes less than a day to have a policy approved. Rates are extremely low since these plans provide benefits that are mostly subject to a deductible. Important Note: If you are eligible for a subsidized or unsubsidized Marketplace plan (Open Enrollment or SEP), these options should always be strongly considered and compared along with short-term plans.
ST policies, however, come with a big caveat. They do not conform to ACA regulations since they don’t provide all required mandated benefits, such as maternity and preventive coverage with no waiting period or deductible. If you expect your non-working time to be short, or you know the exact number of days you need to be covered (Perhaps a waiting period for benefits at your new job), then a temporary plan may be appropriate. If you expect to be laid off or without work for longer than six months, a more permanent solution is advisable.
Temporary Companies And Prices
UnitedHealthcare, HCC and IHC often offer the lowest prices and you can view rates (for any type of policy) by providing your zip code at the top of the page. You can also use this type of policy as a “stop gap” plan to keep you covered until you decide what your long-term needs are going to be. Many students find it helpful since it protects them until they find a job.
Sample monthly rates for a 35 year-old residing in Lake County are provided below. Depending on the carrier, maximum benefit provided is either $1 million or $2 million. Policies can be renewed after six months, subject to meeting underwriting guidelines. If you are diagnosed with a serious illness (cancer, diabetes, etc…) you may not be able to renew the policy. Therefore, if possible, always apply for a policy that does not terminate until December 31. You can then enroll for Marketplace, Medicaid, or Medicare coverage without a lapse.
$47 – HCC – $7,500 deductible with 50% coinsurance.
$51 – HCC – $5,000 deductible with 50% coinsurance.
$54 – HCC – $2,500 deductible with 50% coinsurance.
$67 – HCC – $1,000 deductible with 50% coinsurance.
$78 – Assurant – $5,000 deductible with 50% coinsurance.
$98 – UnitedHealthcare – $5,000 deductible with 20% coinsurance.
$110 – HCC – $250 deductible with 50% coinsurance.
$116 – IHC Group – $5,000 deductible with 20% coinsurance.
If you are not working, it also may be important not to commit to any type of long-term policy where you are required to keep coverage for a year or longer. For that reason, it is advisable to pay your premiums on a monthly basis. Every company offers a monthly billing method and some will also allow you to be billed directly at home at no extra cost. This also simplifies the cancellation process in case you quickly find coverage through a new employer.
Marketplace plans and most policies from highly-rated and registered carriers do not require you to keep a policy for a designated length of time. Terminating a policy typically does not result in an “early-cancellation” penalty, and the process usually is completed within 10-20 days.
Because you are unemployed does not mean that comprehensive plans are not available. For families with young children, office visit and prescription benefits may be needed. To keep rates as low as possible, deductibles of $3,500 or higher can be utilized along with increased coinsurance limits. Much higher deductibles are typically available that will further reduce premiums. Self-employed persons also like these options, since they can utilize rich benefits at a discounted rate.
Bronze-tier and Silver-tier options offer the lowest rates, since maximum out-of-pocket expenses are higher. If you are not working, have no major health issues, and no surgeries planned, these two policy options are often very cost-effective. If coverage is still needed by January 1, Open Enrollment allows you to customize a plan that fits your current situation.
To duplicate benefits that were available through an employer (or ex-employer), COBRA may be available, although coverage could be extremely costly. During the 63-day period following your company-termination, you are provided rate and plan details your yourself and any included family member. Dental and vision benefits may also be offered if you previously had that coverage.
Often, private medical plans are less expensive for individuals and families in Indiana than COBRA. However, you must apply within your two-month enrollment period to qualify for guaranteed-approval and a federal subsidy, if applicable. Under both options, pre-existing conditions will be covered. NOTE: You can file for Indiana unemployment benefits through the provided link.
If you exhaust benefits (typically 18 months), you create a “Special Enrollment Period” and companies will approve applicants with pre-existing conditions. These Marketplace plans also will allow you to qualify for a generous federal subsidy, depending on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). If you voluntarily terminate COBRA before the expiration date, you will not qualify for guarantee-approval and federal financial aid. The exception would be if it occurs during Open Enrollment periods, which usually occur between November and February.
NOTE: Unemployment insurance (UI) is offered through the Department of Labor and works with the Middle Class Tax Relief And Job Creation Act of 2012. Other available benefits include Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA), extended benefits, and compensation for ex-servicemen.
If You Are Laid Off And Did Not Have Previous Medical Coverage
If you are laid off, it is possible your employer did not offer benefits while you were actively working. A trade association or union may be able to help, although often, the prices are not competitive. But there are exceptions. Assuming Open Enrollment (OE) has ended, you can secure “short-term” coverage (previously discussed) that will cover you until the end of the calendar year. And of course, the new OE period will allow you to secure benefits.
But let’s assume you were 50 pounds overweight and took medications for high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. There is a large chance of having an application denied. However, even with a few issues, most persons are accepted for “Limited Benefit” plans with a possible “rate-up,” which is an underwriting increase in the premium.
NOTE: We do NOT endorse or offer these types of policies since they have large gaps that can leave a customer with large unpaid medical bills. Also, the previous example assumed there was no prior in-force policy, and therefore COBRA or an SEP were not available. Qualified Exchange plans should always be the first-choice.
Risk Pool No Longer Available
For single or married persons that have been without health care benefits AND have a serious medical condition (cancer or diabetes, for example), the Indiana Risk Pool (ICHIA) was a strong option to consider. However, on January 31, 2014, the ICHIA stopped offering policies since Marketplace enrollment became available. And actually, the program stayed open an extra 31 days to help cover about 7,000 Hoosiers.
Rates were fairly reasonable and if you had been denied coverage and met other specific criteria, you could have easily applied. The program, when active, helped thousands of unemployed and/or low income qualified persons in Indiana obtain health insurance. CHIP is still available for low-income families that need coverage for their children. If your household income excludes you from CHIP-eligibility, Marketplace options (see below) are available.
The Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace
Help also arrives every November. The State Marketplace Open Enrollment begins every year around that time. If you are still jobless, selecting a Bronze-tier Medal plan will be the least expensive option. A tax subsidy can drastically cut your price. If you have ongoing medical issues, a Platinum or Gold plan may be a better fit, since you have lower out of pocket costs. A Bronze-tier option may result in cost-savings unless you have extensive medical issues that require immediate and future treatment.
A “cost-sharing” Silver-Tier policy should also be considered if your projected yearly income is going to place you on the low end of the Federal Poverty Level guidelines. This special feature is unique to the Silver-tier, and allows you to reduce deductibles and copays, resulting in thousands of dollars of savings if you have a major claim. However, if your income increases the following year, the amount of out-of-pocket savings may decrease.
Some of the most popular cost-sharing Silver plan options include: CareSource Just4Me, Ambetter Balanced Care 1, 2 and 4, Anthem Pathway X 4250 30, and Pathway X 2500 10, MDWise Marketplace Basic, IU Health Plans Silver HSA, and UnitedHealthcare Choice 2000 and 3500.
Being unemployed doesn’t mean you can’t purchase cheap medical insurance in Indiana. There are several options that allow you to take advantage of your temporary drop in income. Take a few moments to request a quote near the top portion of the page and you can view the best options! We are always available if you need our help. You can receive fast, free, no obligation quotes in a minute.
The US unemployment rate continues to fall and has reached 5.5%. However, many members of the workforce that have stopped looking for jobs, are not counted in the most recent data. Also, less than 25% of the nation’s unemployed are receiving benefits. Additional details are found on the Economic Policy Institute website.
Although Hoosier state unemployment has slightly increased from a year ago, the Presidential election later this year my provide additional stimulation. Also, in an effort to increase Marketplace participation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed reducing the maximum-allowed duration of short-term plans to only three months.