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Health Insurance Options for Early Retirees and the Unemployed

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If you’re among the millions of Americans who have filed for unemployment in recent weeks you might wonder where to turn to get health insurance. Well, the good news is that you have options.

First, there’s something called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA.

According to the Labor Department, COBRA gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.

Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost to the plan.

If you’re unemployed you may also be able to get an affordable health insurance plan through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, with savings based on your income and household size, according to You may also qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

Another option is to purchase a short-term health insurance plan. Short term health insurance is a type of health plan that can provide you with temporary medical coverage when you are between health plans, outside enrollment periods, and need some coverage in case of an emergency, according to CIGNA.

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