The unemployment rate in the state of Florida stood at a far-too-high 8.6 percent in July of 2012. That’s actually above the national average, and means that too many Florida residents remain out of work today. Not only do these residents have to worry about paying their bills and maintaining at least some of their savings, many will also struggle with finding affordable health insurance. Fortunately, there are options for finding Florida health insurance for the unemployed. The bad news? This insurance coverage isn’t inexpensive.
Many unemployed Florida residents will retain their health insurance from their previous employers through the federal government’s COBRA program. This program allows employees who have been fired to remain on their previous employer’s group health insurance program for a certain number of months. Through COBRA, the recently unemployed can enjoy the same level of health insurance for themselves and their families that they had when employed.
The bad news? COBRA is extremely expensive. And that can prove difficult for those who have lost their jobs. In general, you can expect to pay about $700 or more a month to extend your healthcare coverage through COBRA. That can be a steep price to pay for someone who is relying on their savings and unemployment benefits to pay the bills until they can find another job. COBRA is also only a temporary program. You won’t be able to carry it forever. So if your job search takes too long, you’ll need to explore other health insurance options.
Many who are searching for Florida health insurance for the unemployed turn to short-term care insurance. These are plans that typically provide coverage for anywhere from six to 12 months. Their purpose is to serve as a bridge until people find more permanent insurance options, usually from an employer.
Most of these plans are restrictive health insurance plans, meaning that they’ll provide a payout to help you cover the costs of such emergency care as surgeries and hospital stays. But many short-term health insurance plans don’t cover routine medical care such as check-ups and physicals.
The temptation might be to cut health insurance entirely until you find a job. Problem is, if you do suffer an unexpected illness or injury, the medical care you’ll need can bankrupt you if you don’t have the financial protection provided by health insurance. It’s wiser to consider health insurance premiums a necessary cost, a bill that has to be paid just like your electric bill and monthly mortgage payment.
Being unemployed is stressful. You’ll need to find some health insurance option, though, if you want to provide at least some peace of mind to yourself and your family during a challenging time.