Any form of insurance involves a risk for the insurance provider. The insurance premium calculated by the insurance provider depends on this very risk. When it comes to health insurance, the risk involved is characterized mainly by the health of the individual, which in turn is affected by social and other factors. From this point of view, health insurance for the unemployed and pensioners can be difficult to obtain and sustain.
Health Insurance for the Unemployed
In the current economic climate, lined with retrenchments and redundancies, job losses and unemployment are high throughout the world. Most often health insurance is linked to employment and people opt for an insurance program offered by the employer. So it can become difficult to continue insurance coverage after leaving a job. In the US, for example, a program called COBRA, created by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allows you to keep your insurance coverage after you have left the job. However, you need to make the insurance payments plus a 2% administrative fee.
If you are not able to keep your existing health insurance coverage after you have left the job, you may still be able to find group insurance coverage in other places such as trade unions, or community groups. There may be community groups and associations that can provide health insurance for the unemployed as part of the association’s membership.
For those who are unemployed it is not always easy to afford continuing private health care. But being unemployed need not mean compromising on health insurance altogether. It is still possible to get low cost health insurance for the unemployed, by opting for lower premiums and high deductibles. This means that you will probably have coverage for fewer and more serious health problems.
Those who are unemployed but are under 65 years of age and healthy may be able to opt for an individual insurance plan. But these generally provide much more limited coverage, and are usually not an option for those with chronic pre-existing health conditions. Temporary health insurance policies are an option – and only provide cover for a short period of around one year – but this can be a good stopgap arrangement, especially if you are between jobs.
Many insurance providers do not provide individual insurance plans to those with certain pre-existing chronic medical conditions, such as Diabetes, and this can definitely pose problems at times.
Health Insurance for Retirees
Obtaining health insurance at competitive prices during retirement can be difficult. However, there are providers that offer health insurance for the unemployed and elderly. There are insurance policies that do not need you to take a health examination or answer questions about your health in order to be eligible.
Unlike health insurance for the unemployed, there are quite a few options available to pensioners and retirees in most parts of the world. It is possible to find and compare different health insurance policies for seniors online on insurance comparison websites. These websites allow you to compare different policies based on different criteria so that you can find one that suits your circumstances best.
One rule of thumb for anybody shopping around for insurance policies is to understand the insurance contract completely before signing anything. People often feel pressurized, especially during difficult times to get insurance cover. And insurance providers who are only interested in making a sale and not in the customers’ requirements only add to this pressure.
It is important, while choosing a health insurance policy, whether it is health insurance for the unemployed or health insurance for senior citizens, to be careful and aware of all the clauses, terms and conditions of the policy, and to shop around and explore all options before making a final decision.