Unemployed ObamaCare, What are My Options?
I just got unemployed, and I would like to think I could get another job in a couple of months, so what do I do?
I don’t think I can afford healthcare, while I have next to no income. They say the penalty is $700, but if Iam only out of work for a couple of months, isn’t the penalty broken down to each month, so the penalty would not be much, or no?
I live in florida, so my income would be unemployment of $275 (which is the max), I am already struggling, so there is no room in the present budget, I have already called all bills and shaved, what I could. what guidance can you give me. I earned $74k, last year, but now the future is unknown.
If you are unemployed you have lots of options. Cost assistance is based off of projected annual income and being laid off triggers a special enrollment period. If your income is low enough, you may qualify for CHIP depending upon the state. No matter what, your best bet is to call the Health Insurance Marketplace HealthCare.Gov. If you let them know your situation they can help to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
Again you won't base your cost assistance on last years tax returns. Instead you'll note that you got lost employment, don't have employment, and thus don't have income. Keep in mind you'll need to project at least 100% of the federal poverty level to qualify for subsidies. Florida didn't expand Medicaid, so the best bet in your case will be to figure out how you can reasonably project that 100%, perhaps unemployment and recent earnings can do the trick?
Learn about the Federal Poverty Level.
Learn about the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Learn about Special Enrollment.
Early in 2018, I became unemployed (and am still unemployed). When I met with a health insurance agent in November, they told me I would qualify for a subsidy for 2019 based on the income from my first few months of employment and my 6 months of unemployment benefits. So I applied for the subsidy using my income for 2018 (and got a subsidy that totally covers my premium), but the health care marketplace didn’t accept my income documentation because, as you say above, they base subsidies on expected future income, not past income. I’ve gotten warnings that I may lose my health insurance or premium if I don’t submit proof of income.
Will I simply start getting a bill for the full premium? Or will they also cancel my health insurance? I’m afraid that they’ll cancel it even though I would want to pay for it (as I’ve always done in the past). I asked the health care marketplace about my situation, but all they would do is tell me what documentation I need to send in to prove my (nonexistent) income.
So if you don’t have income in most states, then your best bet is Medicaid if you lose your income.
If however you live in a Republican led state, Medicaid may not be an option. If Medicaid isn’t an option and you think you can work again, I would argue that your expected income is actually above 100% based on your past and future expectations.
You may not be able to prove this with a current pay stub, but you should be able to send past pay stubs, make the argument, and appeal a denial if needed.
If you can’t win that battle, you would have to cancel your health insurance or you will indeed owe for the full premium since you won’t have tax credits.
As you can see, Medicaid is important even for hard workings Americans, but that is an aside here, the point is you still have choices, but must act ASAP and you may still see a denial that requires an appeal.