47 Million people uninsured is a lot of peeps. If you’ve recently lost your job or are self employed or work as a freelancer, you may not have health insurance. You’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands go uninsured due to financial reasons.
Others may be staying in jobs they hate “because I need the health benefits” and they worry about what to do if they make a transition. You’re not alone either. Good health is a huge priority. Without that, everything else can fall apart.
I’m a strong advocate for taking preventative health measures. But part of taking preventative measures is making sure you see your physician for annual general checkups along with followups, and seeing a physician when you know something is wrong.
Since it can be confusing navigating where to go to obtain health insurance during such times, I thought the following might help.
The American Diabetes Association has put together a very helpful resource guide for you. I’ve used New York here, since many of you reside there but you can get the same information for ANY state by clicking on your state on the red map on their website.
The following information details health insurance and assistance programs available to uninsured people in New York.
If you currently have health insurance or have just lost health insurance coverage within the past 60 days, visit the health insurance section of the American Diabetes Association website for options available to you.
New York Insurance Department – (800) 342-3736 Residents of New York cannot be turned down from purchasing an individual health insurance policy regardless of any health conditions they may have. This is called guaranteed issue. In addition, residents cannot be charged a higher rate for their policy because of their health status. This is called community rating. The New York Insurance Department may be able to help you locate names and phone numbers of possible insurers who will sell you this type of policy. Please contact them for more information.
If you are having a problem with your state-regulated health plan and you are unable to resolve it with the plan directly, file a complaint with the Insurance Department. They may be able to provide you with assistance in reaching a conclusion.
- The New York Consumer Guide to Health Insurers provides information about the wide range of health care options available in in the state and enables New Yorkers to compare commercial and non-profit health insurers as well as health maintenance organizations (HMOs) on a variety of factors, from services offered to overall consumer satisfaction. This guide can assist you in finding the best health care plan for you and your family.
- New York Medicaid – (518) 486-9057 Medicaid is available to anyone who meets income and eligibility criteria. Even if your income meets the criteria, you must fall into one of the eligibility categories in order to qualify. Contact your state Medicaid program for more information.
- Healthy New York – (866) 432-5849 The goal of the Healthy NY program is to provide health insurance coverage to eligible uninsured working individuals and self-employed individuals. This program is also available to small businesses that are not currently offering health insurance coverage to their employees. You must meet certain income eligibility criteria to qualify. Please contact Healthy New York for more information.
- Child Health Plus (CHPlus) – State Children’s Health Insurance Program – (800) 698-4543 Child Health Plus is the health insurance program designed to provide health insurance to children and teens under age 19 whose family may have too great an income to qualify for Medicaid, but who may not be able to afford health insurance. Visit the Web site to find out if you or your child meets the income guidelines.
- New York Family Health Plus – 1-877-934-7587 Family Health Plus is a health care program for uninsured adults between the ages of 19 and 64 who have incomes too high to qualify for New York ‘s Medicaid program. Family Health Plus is available to single adults, couples without children, and parents with limited incomes. Individuals must meet residency and certain immigration qualifications to be eligible.
One of the problems with all the above is the word “eligible”. Most people who don’t have health insurance have lost their job or they’re otherwise financially strapped. That begs the question how do they pay for health insurance if I’m not “e-l-i-g-i-b-l-e.” Each program makes it as difficult as possible. Oh, you have to be disabled taking care of 55 children in a wheelchair AND have no house. Anyhow, I don’t know the answer right now.
A Glance Back to History…
If you’re unable to see a physician due to the cost of care, there may be a local community health clinic in your area. These clinics generally are free or require a very small fee for patients to receive care. Find a clinic in your area.
For those with preexisting conditions, there may be an advocacy group working on your behalf. Google advocacy for (insert condition) to find.
Also, if any freelancers have had a good or bad experience with certain health insurances, please message here, as it’d be helpful to know which ones work well and which do not.
Hope these tips help!! 🙂
Here’s a Quick Link to Map for Health Insurance in other States:
Here’s another helpful site, courtesy of Linda S. Moats: