I Lost My Job – What are My Unemployed Health Insurance Options in Wisconsin?
Becoming unemployed can be very stressful and money may get tight. Going without health insurance is not an option for many Wisconsinites. In fact, you may actually be subject to a fee for not having insurance for more than three consecutive months, even if you’re unemployed.1
Losing your job qualifies you for special enrollment period, so you can avoid a penalty by getting coverage right away. While you look for a new job, it’s a good idea to look into your health insurance options while unemployed –
- You may be covered through the end of the month that you became unemployed. Most employers don’t end insurance coverage immediately upon termination. That could mean that if you become unemployed at the beginning of the month, you might have health insurance coverage until the end of the month
- If you’re married, you may be covered through your spouse’s employer. Your spouse’s employer may offer health insurance coverage for families. It might make sense to enroll in your spouse’s policy. However, be sure to check out individual health insurance policies while you’re unemployed. Buying a separate health insurance plan might be the right option to meet your needs
- COBRA. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers the right to continue health benefits provided by their group health plan after they are terminated (except for people who were fired for gross misconduct). Once you sign up for COBRA, you may have the coverage for up to 36 months or longer, depending on the “qualifying event.” However, your former employer can charge you up to 102 percent of the cost of the coverage, which is why many people find that coverage under COBRA is too costly.2 If you're out of a job right now, it may make more sense for you to check out health insurance purchased directly from an insurance company
- Subsidies. If you’re without a job, explore your health insurance financial assistance options. You could be eligible for federal advanced premium tax credits or cost share reductions, which help make health insurance much more affordable while you’re unemployed. Wisconsin also offers a number of ways to get help paying for health insurance, including BadgerCare Plus and HealthConnect for Dane County residents
We offer a range of health insurance options for unemployed families and individuals in Wisconsin. Our friendly customer service staff will work with you to help find coverage that is right for you. Browse our health plans and get a quote today, or call Customer Service Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 608.644.3430.