When you’re unemployed, it’s a challenging time financially. But how do you get by without health insurance? After all, it’s not like you can just go to the doctor for free when you’re sick. If you have recently lost your job and have no other source of insurance coverage, the South Carolina unemployment insurance benefits are a great way to get through those first few months while looking for a new job. We at NewHealthInsurance managed some information so that you can get cheap health insurance plans in South Carolina.
However, in order to qualify, your previous employer must have been your primary source of income or support. You cannot simultaneously be eligible for both unemployment and worker’s compensation benefits due to a work-related injury.
In addition to these programs, there are ways that you can save on health care while searching for employment.
Here are a few ways that unemployed South Carolinians can access affordable or free healthcare:
Cheap Health Insurance Plans in South Carolina
Free Health Screenings
If you’re looking to save money on health screenings, you can do so by visiting your local community health center. These are non-profit centers that offer free or low-cost screenings, as well as basic lab tests and sometimes even primary care.
Most health centers offer services on a sliding scale, so even if you don’t have insurance, you can most likely still receive services for a reduced price.
For example, health centers typically charge less for people who make less than 200% of the federal poverty level, so if you make less than around $24,000 a year, you should be able to get your screenings (as well as your basic primary care) for significantly less than the usual cost.
If you are low-income and recently unemployed, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
Medicaid is a form of public assistance that helps cover medical costs for people who are low-income or unemployed. It is a government-funded health insurance program that is administered on a state-by-state basis.
However, every state has its own set of eligibility requirements, so you should contact your local Medicaid office to see if you qualify. As with most government assistance programs, there are income guidelines that you must meet in order to qualify for Medicaid.
Currently, if you are a single person, the maximum income you can earn and still be eligible for Medicaid is $16,642 per year. If you are a couple with no children, the maximum annual income you can earn and still qualify for Medicaid is $22,411.
If you are unemployed, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) can help cover the cost of your children’s health care. The program covers certain medical services, including doctor visits, vaccinations, and hospitalizations, but the coverage and eligibility requirements vary depending on the state you live in.
Currently, each state has its own CHIP program with its own eligibility requirements. However, most states use a sliding scale based on income to determine eligibility. CHIP programs also typically have a different income cutoff for one child versus multiple children in the same household.
If you have recently lost your job and have health insurance through your employer, you can continue to receive coverage under COBRA.
COBRA is a federal law that requires employers to let workers continue their group health coverage for a certain amount of time after they lose their jobs. COBRA is intended for workers who lose their jobs involuntarily and have existing health conditions. It’s a chance for some workers to keep their health insurance if they can’t get new coverage right away.
For example, say you’re laid off at age 40 with a chronic illness. If you lose your COBRA coverage, you can’t get another group plan because insurance companies don’t want to cover someone who is already sick. You would then be out of luck and have to purchase individual insurance, which would be much more expensive.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: HealthCare.gov
If you are unemployed, you may be eligible for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as “Obamacare.” The ACA is a federal law that requires health insurance companies to cover people regardless of pre-existing conditions.
The ACA also offers tax credits to help people pay for their health insurance. The amount of your tax credit is determined by your income, family size, and the price of the health plan you choose.
For example, let’s say you are a single South Carolina resident who makes $44,000 per year and you decide to purchase a plan from the ACA Marketplace. If you purchase the “silver” level plan, which is considered a mid-level plan, you can expect to pay about $250 each month for health insurance. Your tax credit, however, would be $783 per month, meaning that you would only need to pay about $500 per month.
Free Clinics in South Carolina
These are non-profit organizations that provide free or low-cost health services to uninsured or underinsured individuals. You can visit a free clinic for everything from routine check-ups to serious medical issues, including treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
Medical clinics typically have a sliding scale for payment. Unfortunately, the hours and days that these clinics are open vary from clinic to clinic, so you will need to do a bit of research to find out the times and days that they are open.
Cheap Health Insurance Plans in South Carolina Verdict
If you are unemployed and have been without health insurance coverage for a while, it’s important to understand that you are more likely than ever to contract an infectious disease.
This is due to the fact that you have fewer people around you who can help you get the medical attention you need. The best way to combat this is to find free or low-cost clinics for routine check-ups, as well as for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
You may want to also consider purchasing a low-cost or free health insurance plan from the ACA Marketplace, since you may be eligible for a tax credit that would help to offset the cost of your plan.