Medicaid covers more than 74 million Americans and is a vital part of our nation's health care system. But what happens if you lose your Medicaid coverage? If you've lost your Medicaid, it's important to know that there are still ways to get the health insurance you need. In this article, we'll walk through what happens when you lose Medicaid and how to find the right coverage at the right price.
What to Know About Special Enrollment Periods
Special enrollment periods can make it easier to get insurance if you lose your Medicaid coverage. These special periods let you change plans outside of open enrollment, which is the period that’s open to everyone during which you can sign up for health insurance through your state marketplace (and sometimes an individual insurer).
If your income changes, or if other life events happen that qualify you for a special enrollment period, federal law requires insurers to let people change plans outside of this timeframe. Here are some common examples:
- You move from one state to another and enroll in a new plan within 60 days of relocating
- You have a baby or adopt a child who was born before July 1st (the start date of the next year's open enrollment period)
Find a Private Broker to Help Pay for Premiums
If you don’t have the money to pay for a plan and are not eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to get help with your premiums through a broker. A broker is an insurance professional who can help you find health coverage that meets your needs and fits within your budget. Remember, brokers are paid by the insurance companies they sell policies from, so they come at no cost to you or anyone else in your life!
Brokers will work closely with their clients throughout the process of applying for health coverage: helping them understand what they need, assisting with enrollment paperwork and submitting applications on their behalf. In addition, brokers may be able to help individuals find out if there might be any other financial assistance available as well (e.g., tax credits or deductions) that could make it easier for people who were previously uninsured now qualify for premium tax credits even though they aren’t eligible for Medicaid anymore—this way everyone gets covered without having to pay more than necessary!
How to Use Your Special Enrollment Period
You have 60 days to enroll in a new plan after you lose Medicaid coverage. You can enroll in a plan on the marketplace or through an insurance broker.
- If your income is low enough, you might qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP) that allows you to enroll outside of open enrollment. This means that if you became pregnant while enrolled in Medicaid and lost your coverage as a result, or if someone else in your household became pregnant during this time period, then they may be able to sign up for health insurance under the SEP rules.
You have options!
You can use a broker to help you find the best plan for you. A broker is an expert who can assess your needs and steer you towards options that work well with your situation. They can also help with the application process, which involves some paperwork, but isn't too difficult if done right away.
It’s a little overwhelming to think about, but the good news is there are options for insurance after you lose Medicaid. You can look into private health insurance plans or Medicaid again in the future if you meet certain requirements. In the meantime, reach out to a broker to help it all make sense to you.