What Should You Do If You Lose Your Health Insurance ?
With the rising cost of healthcare, the most coveted items in your life must be your health insurance.
However, with the financial crisis looming over our heads, there is a high possibility of losing our health insurance due to layoffs, early retirement or our employer deciding not to offer us health benefits any longer.
If you lose your health insurance, do not qualify for Medicaid and are not yet 65 years to claim Medicare, you will think you have no option. So, what should you do if you lose your health insurance? The first thing is that you should not panic. There are options available that will ensure that you still have a health insurance, medical care or prescription drugs.
- COBRA is available for people who had health insurance through their employer. This is a temporary health coverage that you can avail for 18 months at your own expense if you were laid off or had your working hours reduced which made you ineligible for health benefits. Under the COBRA, you can also cover family members who part of the coverage prior to you losing the insurance.
- As per the state and federal law, you cannot be refused medical treatment in a hospital's emergency room if you are uninsured. Therefore, even if you lose your insurance, you will still get emergency room treatment and care. In addition, many hospitals have free or low-cost clinics for people who have chronic conditions which are not covered by health insurance.
- You can approach public or private assistance programs if you require prescription drugs. These are usually run by pharmaceutical companies and under these programs you can get either free or low-cost prescriptions drugs. These programs are especially meant for people who do not have health coverage for prescription drugs. However, each program has its own qualifying criteria.
- If you lose your health insurance, try talking to your doctor. Most doctors will be willing to work something out like reduced fees or an extended payment arrangement. You will never know until you ask your doctor.
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