How to Get Benefits When You’re Unemployed

Losing your job is tough. It’s difficult to deal with having no job, and maybe no income. If you’re fortunate enough, you may be able to collect unemployment for a limited amount of time or until you get a new job. If not, hopefully you saved up an emergency fund that will hold you over until your next job. When you lose your job, you lose more than just a regular income, you also lose the benefits you had.

Getting affordable health insurance is very difficult when you don’t have a job. Many full time jobs give health insurance at a group rate, and most pay for part of the premiums. That means you pay minimally for good coverage. Health insurance for the unemployed is very difficult. Even if you have COBRA, where you get to continue the health insurance you had with your past employer, you have to pay for 100% of the premiums. Even at a group rate, it is still very expensive.

If COBRA isn’t an option, it’s either not available or too expensive, you have other options. You can get an individual policy, but it’s usually more expensive. Some policies will give coverage only for emergency hospital visits. These are considerably less expensive, but they only cover you for emergencies. It’s good for just in case situations, if you absolutely can’t afford anything better.

You can make COBRA work if there is no other option. If you are without work for 1 or 2 months, you only have to pay that amount for 1 or 2 months. If you had an emergency fund, you should be able to afford it. If you’re under 26 years of age, you might be able to get under your parents coverage. You can also look into state government assisted programs that vary by the state you live in.

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