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Healthcare options for unemployed people

Posted at 6:38 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 18:38:40-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Out of work usually means out of a health care plan. But a local economist says if you’re unemployed you still have options.

If you find yourself without insurance and in need of a critical procedure, you might look for help on mdsave.com. You can compare different prices in your area before committing to your doctor’s price tag.

Or, if you like your doctor, Economy Professor Victor Claar at Florida Gulf Coast University says just be transparent about your situation, and you may be able to work something out with your provider.

“They really want to make sure that you get the healthcare that you need,” he said. “And if they need to work with you, and figure out a finance option that works for you, I think in most cases they are happy to do that.”

He says that could turn into an outright reduced cash payment or a payment plan.

If you’re recently unemployed, you could stay on your employer’s plan and pay for coverage out of pocket with COBRA coverage. But Claar says that gets pricey.

“Shop around on the internet for alternatives that are going to be priced better and a better fit for your budget and your particular health needs,” he said.

Shop around on getcovered.com or healthcare.gov, which covers patients with pre-existing conditions, and could offer even more assistance.

“If you have a reduced income right now, you might qualify for a medicare supplement,” said Clear.

If you happen to contract COVID-19, some insurance providers are waiving COVID-related costs. United Healthcare is doing that at least for another month.

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