Qualifying for Health Coverage When Unemployed


Qualifying for Health Coverage When Unemployed

Applying for health insurance if you’ve lost your job

If you’re unemployed, you are still required by law to have health insurance. If you are not covered by an employer’s plan, you may qualify for one of three types of health-care coverage:

  1. Medicaid. Provides coverage to Americans with limited incomes or disabilities. Each state’s Medicaid rules are different.
  2. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Provides coverage for children and, in some states, pregnant women with incomes too high for Medicaid but too low to afford private insurance.
  3. Marketplace insurance. Also called a health insurance exchange, it helps you find and enroll in a health insurance plan that fits your budget and meets your needs.


When you apply for Marketplace coverage, you estimate your income for the year including the income of everyone in your household. Once you complete the application, you’ll find out if you qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or a private health insurance plan through the Marketplace. You’ll also find out if you qualify for premium tax credits and other savings on Marketplace insurance based on your income and household size. To learn about your health-care options, go to www.healthcare.gov.


Photo credit Shutterstock.com

Valli Kleven is a graduate of Smith College with a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University. She is also an author and Solo Mom thriving in Los Angeles.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.


Send to friend

Help us improve ESME by answering this survey.

Download our ESME app for a smoother experience.

Get the app Get the app