Buying Unemployed Medical Coverage

Health insurance for the unemployed can seem like an overwhelming maze of alternatives to choose from. There are some solid healthcare options for unemployed medical coverage.


  • Buy unemployed medical insurance online or in a local health insurance agent’s office. Make sure to only use reputable health insurance websites to buy an individual health insurance policy.
  • Get unemployed healthcare from an ex-employer’s insurer by signing up for COBRA. COBRA allows ex-employees to continue using health insurance benefits for many months after the end of employment. Take note, COBRA is a very expensive form of unemployed medical coverage.
  • Unemployment insurance is available in more than 40 states through state continuation insurance. Similar to COBRA, unemployed group health plans through state continuation are for ex-employees of companies employing less than 20 people. Eligibility for this type of health insurance for the employed varies by state.

Health Insurance for the Unemployed- More Options

Conversions, HIPAA, low income insurance options and high-risk pools might also offer unemployed healthcare solutions:

  • Conversions are another way that an ex-employer’s healthcare might be able to help someone who is unemployed. Insurance group health plans that offer conversions may allow a policyholder to convert unemployment group health benefits to an individual insurance policy.
  • Many people are eligible for job loss insurance through HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). Unemployed people who are eligible for HIPAA are guaranteed two health insurance policy offers. Check online with the state department of insurance to determine eligibility criteria for this type of unemployed medical insurance.
  • People who qualify for a low income status may be eligible for unemployed healthcare through Medicaid. Medicaid guidelines vary by state.
  • High-risk pools offer health insurance for the unemployed in more than 30 states. High-risk pools are a very expensive form of health insurance and have only limited enrollment.

Unemployed Health Benefits for Prescriptions

Help diffuse the high cost of prescriptions with unemployed health benefits:

  • Unemployment health benefits like prescription assistance may be available through a pharmaceutical company. Prescription assistance helps people without insurance get the prescriptions they need.
  • Check with local pharmacies to see what kind of discount drug plan benefits or healthcare coverage they offer the unemployed. In order to compete with national pharmacies and website service, a number of smaller, locally-owned pharmacies have started discount drug plans that offer great value to individuals and families.
  • People who have an individual health insurance policy, COBRA or some other job loss insurance can check to see if mail-in prescription benefits are available. Mail-in prescriptions include three months’ worth of medicine for the same price as one month’s worth of medicine at a local pharmacy.

Notes about Job Loss Insurance:

  • State rights, regulations and availability of job loss insurance vary. Contact the state department of insurance to determine eligibility.
  • Understand there is a critical difference between job loss insurance and unemployed discount health plans. Discount health plans are not the same thing as health insurance.

Learn more about health insurance including paying for prenatal healthcare, choosing between HMOs and PPOs and getting medical debt help.

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Site Disclaimer: This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services.
If you feel that you have a health problem, you should seek the advice of your Physician or health care Practitioner.

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