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If you are out of work, you may be in need of temporary medical insurance. Given you’re likely to be under financial strain, you may be tempted to go without a health insurance plan. But it only takes one accident or unplanned illness to set you back thousands of dollars. Seeking major medical insurance while unemployed may seem like added pressure, but there are many reasons you should consider a health insurance solution.

Tax Penalties

If you haven’t heard, there is now a tax penalty for not carrying health insurance. It is called the individual shared responsibility payment. While you have the option to apply for an exemption, being unemployed does not necessarily qualify you for one. The fee in 2016 is calculated one of two ways: a fee of $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of your household income—whichever is higher. The maximum one family can be penalized is $2,085. While the cost of securing major medical insurance while unemployed is likely higher than the cost of the penalty, it is still important to factor it into your decision-making process.

Medical Bills

Clearly the more pressing reason to seek major medical insurance while being unemployed is the financial gamble you take should something go wrong. Did you know just one night’s stay in the hospital can run you around $11,600? Barring something catastrophic going wrong, like an accident or emergency surgery, you still face basic health risks that come with minor ailments. People who don’t carry medical insurance are less likely to seek medical treatment for these ailments, and they may be missing out on preventive care that could prevent a major illness from happening further down the road.

Multiple Insurance Options

So what can you do if you are seeking low-cost medical insurance while unemployed? Let’s go over a few of your options.

Short-term medical, or temporary insurance, is one option but may not cover preventive services. However, it can provide benefits that help pay for the unexpected. An individual looking for a safety net against catastrophic illness or injury can easily apply for coverage.

Another option is to purchase a qualified health plan that meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   For these plans, there are four metal tiers to select from with varying premiums costs. A bronze plan, which may carry the lowest premium, is ACA-compliant and is required to cover the essential benefits. Under special circumstances, losing job-based benefits may allow you to purchase health benefits outside of the usual enrollment period, and your new financial circumstances could mean you qualify for subsidies.

HealthMarkets can help you through this difficult time. Our service is free, so there is no cost to look at your options. We also have a Best Price Guarantee* that ensures you will not find the same plan anywhere else for less. We can help you check for subsidies and other potential cost savings, and our advice is unbiased since we work independently of insurance companies and the government.

Seeking major medical insurance when unemployed can seem like a daunting task, but with help from HealthMarkets, it doesn’t need to be scary. Call us today at (855) 839-8126.

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