The Steep Cost of Health Insurance Plans is Denying Coverage to Unemployed

The global pandemic like coronavirus has helped people realize the significance of having adequate health insurance. However, many individuals who recently become unemployed are struggling to find a new health plan due to exorbitant prices and limited availability. This was revealed in a study conducted by Sidecar Health, which surveyed around 1,500 U.S. residents who recently lost jobs and their employer-sponsored health plans.

This survey was conducted in March, which saw a significant increase in joblessness, as around 3.5 million Americans lost their jobs in just two weeks. The task of obtaining a new health plan was not easy for many, and over half of the unemployed individuals experienced difficulty in finding a new health plan. Unemployed people face problems ranged from finding new plan options for handling red-tape barriers.

The rising cost of health insurance was also a major hindrance for the unemployed to obtain health insurance. Around 74.1 percent surveyed participants said, affordability was a major barrier for them in finding new health insurance coverage. Around 47.1% surveyed participants said that they were looking for a plan that cost a maximum of $50 per month per member, while 28% were looking for a plan that cost $100 per month per member or less.

The participants of this survey were more concerned about the cost of healthcare coverage at the time of unemployment more than the lack of healthcare coverage. Around 86% of the participants were concerned about health insurance costs, whereas 84% of participants were more concerned about not having health insurance. Besides cost, nearly 50% of participants said that they lacked alternatives to their previous coverage, and 28.8% could not find a plan that accepted their provider.

Around 84% of the participants said that the lack of healthcare coverage resulting from the loss of job was their major concern, especially during the outbreak of coronavirus. Over 22.4% said that they had already replaced their healthcare coverage, and 35.9% indicated that were actively looking to replace their coverage. Around 30.3% of the unemployed that participated in the survey had not initiated a search, and around 11.3% had decided to not obtain healthcare coverage while being unemployed.

Around 23.5% of the participants hinted that they plan to go for an Affordable Care Act exchange plan, and around 26.6% said that they would opt for a family member’s plan while unemployed. Quite a few percentages around 8.7% said that they would opt for COBRA, and 11.1% said they would opt for a short-term plan, and 8% said that they would look for some other option.

During this COVID-19 crisis, the most vulnerable is the uninsured population, and this fact can be recognized from a recent letter of Matt Eyles, who is president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans. The letter also indicated that some payers are supporting states and businesses by allowing a grace period for the payment of premiums to reduce layoffs. Many are requesting special enrollment periods for newly unemployed and uninsured individuals so that they can join state, federal, or private insurance plans by mid-year.

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