Affordable Care: Unemployed people get coverage too

I an unemployed and get unemployment weekly benefits. How do I get health insurance now that I’m required to have it?

Job Seeker

Dear Job Seeker,

As an unemployed person, you do not have access to a group (employer) plan. Therefore, you can go to the health insurance marketplace and get government help to pay for a plan. Or, you may qualify for Medicaid. First, let’s look at the health insurance marketplace option.

You will estimate your income, which will then set how much you get in government subsidies to buy a plan. Obviously, your income is very low since you are unemployed so you would qualify for a lot of subsidies. When you get a job, you can update your income estimate. (Otherwise, you would get too much subsidy and then have to pay it back when you file your taxes.)

If you live in a state that is expanding Medicaid (see list), then you may qualify for Medicaid. When you go to the marketplace and put in your income and household data, it will refer you to Medicaid if that is available.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.