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Open enrollment till August 15: FREE or low-cost health insurance plans available if you were unemployed any time in 2021


Kanin
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@Murphy101 I thought of you today. I was in the car listening to NPR, and they had a segment about how the American Rescue Plan that was authorized in July created a whole bunch of free or low-cost health insurance through the government (Medicare, ACA). They we’re talking about how so many unemployed people don’t know about it. They interviewed someone that got a plan for ZERO dollars, and is a type 1 diabetic. 

I think the applicant has to have received unemployment benefits in 2021. Also, they specifically mentioned contacting a Navigator, who helps you - free of charge - find a plan that works for you. Even if you don’t think you qualify, it’s worth trying. 

The actual story on NPR: https://www.npr.org/2021/08/01/1023393337/thirteen-million-people-in-the-u-s-have-two-weeks-to-apply-for-free-health-insur

Other info:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/01/unemployed-can-now-get-zero-premium-health-insurance-via-marketplace.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/04/22/989448586/health-insurance-for-10-or-less-a-month-you-may-qualify-for-new-discounts

https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/coverage/

There will be another open enrollment period in November, so if you need to get unemployment benefits sorted, you have time to do that.

Hope this helps someone get insured!

Edited by Kanin
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Replying to this to say that a lot of the plans are very low deductible - like $200 - but they are GOOD plans. Not crappy ones like in the past, at least according to the news story.

They said that there are whole new classes of plans to choose from, so even if you found crappy ones before, go back and look at the new offerings.

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Thank you! And how sweet you thought of me - what a lovely thing to know.🥰

I’ve saved the link and Dh and I will look at it tomorrow. 
 

ETA: and no we did not know about it and we literally just spoke to someone State human services last week and they said nada about it. 😕

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4 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

Thank you! And how sweet you thought of me - what a lovely thing to know.🥰

I’ve saved the link and Dh and I will look at it tomorrow. 

You’re so welcome! 😊 I’m concerned that so many people may not know about this (I didn’t either!). They said 13 million people may be eligible... 

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Dh hopped right on it and 30 minutes of data entry later, it says we can’t apply for any of that until after we get a letter of decline from the state Medicaid program. Which is likely not going to arrive until September or October.

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I hope, hope, hope that you contact a navigator to help you. We used one last year. Free to the user. Otherwise I would be on the phone every available moment. Getting free health insurance would be worth  a LOT of time on the phone. Someone somewhere can do something.

If there's one thing I'm proud of teaching my kids, it's how to be persistent in hounding bureaucracy until the job is done. A fun recent example. My daughter graduated from college in May. She received an email a few weeks later informing her that she was not eligible to graduate, she was 3 units short, she was missing this class from this block of requirements. This is from a California State University, a bureaucracy almost as unwieldy as the federal government. She knew she WAS eligible, she'd had it all signed off on by the appropriate 3 people, and she had it in writing. She sent a barrage of emails, she sat on the phone for hours, she talked to every secretary in the business, art, administration, honors program, and probably a few others. And she was right, she was eligible, and she received her diploma this week. If she had taken that email as truth, she would not be holding a diploma today.

So I hope I encourage you to fight on!!

 

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

Dh hopped right on it and 30 minutes of data entry later, it says we can’t apply for any of that until after we get a letter of decline from the state Medicaid program. Which is likely not going to arrive until September or October.

Bummer! Definitely contact a Navigator. Often, there's more to the story. Make sure the person knows that he's diabetic. 

What regular people can do in an online form is often different than what an actual employee can do on their end. 

Rooting for you!! Time to go into bulldog mode.

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

Dh hopped right on it and 30 minutes of data entry later, it says we can’t apply for any of that until after we get a letter of decline from the state Medicaid program. Which is likely not going to arrive until September or October.

At the very least you could get in on the November enrollment, but hopefully a Navigator will be able to help. 

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I’m so sorry the loss of health insurance and the job as well the craziness of needing to wait months to apply for this program.

I have another suggestion for you, that hopefully should be premium free. One of the other pandemic changes allows unemployed to continue their employer insurances through Cobra for free through September, at least. 
 

Here is the phone number and some info.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy


 

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30 minutes ago, mum said:

I hope, hope, hope that you contact a navigator to help you. We used one last year. Free to the user. Otherwise I would be on the phone every available moment. Getting free health insurance would be worth  a LOT of time on the phone. Someone somewhere can do something.

If there's one thing I'm proud of teaching my kids, it's how to be persistent in hounding bureaucracy until the job is done. A fun recent example. My daughter graduated from college in May. She received an email a few weeks later informing her that she was not eligible to graduate, she was 3 units short, she was missing this class from this block of requirements. This is from a California State University, a bureaucracy almost as unwieldy as the federal government. She knew she WAS eligible, she'd had it all signed off on by the appropriate 3 people, and she had it in writing. She sent a barrage of emails, she sat on the phone for hours, she talked to every secretary in the business, art, administration, honors program, and probably a few others. And she was right, she was eligible, and she received her diploma this week. If she had taken that email as truth, she would not be holding a diploma today.

So I hope I encourage you to fight on!!

 

Oh we will!  His employer insurance ends in 12 days. But we can’t apply for anything while he has it. So I’ve got all the paperwork and numbers and people to call and get things going in 13 days. 

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2 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

Oh we will!  His employer insurance ends in 12 days. But we can’t apply for anything while he has it. So I’ve got all the paperwork and numbers and people to call and get things going in 13 days. 

It's crazy that you can't do anything ahead of time.... Ridiculous. 

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2 hours ago, NewnameC said:

I’m so sorry the loss of health insurance and the job as well the craziness of needing to wait months to apply for this program.

I have another suggestion for you, that hopefully should be premium free. One of the other pandemic changes allows unemployed to continue their employer insurances through Cobra for free through September, at least. 
 

Here is the phone number and some info.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy


 

That's awesome!

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42 minutes ago, Kanin said:

It's crazy that you can't do anything ahead of time.... Ridiculous. 

I agree. The number of people that fall in the gap must be thousands.  But since it’s based on income, we have to have a month that shows almost none of his previous employment income/severance/healthcare was accrued before we start to qualify for anything.

I also think it’s stupid that even though every single one of the govt support agencies make you fill out nearly identical forms - none of them communicate. So you have to fill out and make appts for food, for health, for unemployment, for everything separately, even though many of these forms say right in them that you have to qualify for another to qualify for them.  Like anyone who qualifies for EBT qualifies for reduced internet but you won’t know that unless someone tells you. It’s not any of the information readily available.

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2 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

I agree. The number of people that fall in the gap must be thousands.  But since it’s based on income, we have to have a month that shows almost none of his previous employment income/severance/healthcare was accrued before we start to qualify for anything.

I also think it’s stupid that even though every single one of the govt support agencies make you fill out nearly identical forms - none of them communicate. So you have to fill out and make appts for food, for health, for unemployment, for everything separately, even though many of these forms say right in them that you have to qualify for another to qualify for them.  Like anyone who qualifies for EBT qualifies for reduced internet but you won’t know that unless someone tells you. It’s not any of the information readily available.

I totally agree! Why can't they communicate??

Apparently some of these new plans make higher incomes eligible, so families can still have one person working and qualify. 

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1 hour ago, Kanin said:

I totally agree! Why can't they communicate??

Apparently some of these new plans make higher incomes eligible, so families can still have one person working and qualify. 

I don’t just think they should communicate. It think either they shouldn’t exist or more accurately exist under ONE office.  It’s why I’m for a UBI. There is so much waste and expense to managing literally hundreds of mini departments. A UBI would streamline access and give more funds to those it’s intended for instead of getting swallowed into “overhead/admin” black holes. Nixon agreed before his mind was changed literally at the last minute before announcing his plan to institute one. ETA: well it wouldn’t have solved the need for universal healthcare. But it probably would have led to that too by now. 

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