11 Ways to Get Health Insurance With No Job or Little Money

Check Out These Options

How to get healthcare with no job - affordable health insurance
How to get low cost affordable health insurance with no job. Steve Debenport / Getty Images

1. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

If you are not employed you or have been laid off, you may be eligible to continue your previous employers' health insurance through COBRA. For students going to college, you also may be able to continue on your parent's health insurance coverage through COBRA. This is a good option for people who may have lost their job and are still undergoing medical treatments.

If you were to switch to another insurance plan, your current medical treatments may not qualify under the new health insurance plan. WARNING: This may not be the most affordable health insurance option. The premiums might be higher and you may be able to better afford another option first. It is best to gather all your available health insurance options and pick the best health insurance plan for your circumstance.

2. Workers' Compensation

Many people don't realize that they may be covered under their state's Workers' Compensation program. If you are being treated for any work-related injury, your employer must offer you treatment under their Workers' Compensation program. 

3. Medicaid: More People Now Qualify, Look Into This Health Insurance Option

Since the Affordable Care Act, the number of people qualified to receive Medicaid increased dramatically, yet some people may not be aware. If you are unable to obtain coverage through a spouse, or family, then make sure you know about the changes to Medicaid for your state.

The following people who were previously not covered may now be covered under the new law: anyone living below the poverty line may now qualify, including adults without children. There are also numerous exceptions, some of them allowing for income above the poverty line to qualify. Medicaid expansion is up to each individual state you can contact your state insurance commissioner to find out the specifics.

There are also subsidies and various calculations that may make you eligible even if you think you are not.

4. Medicare

Medicare is provided by the government and administered by the Social Security Administration. If you are 65 years old or older you would  qualify for Medicare. You may also qualify if you are getting Social Security  disability benefits

5. The Health Insurance Marketplace for Pre-Existing Conditions

The Affordable Care Act changed the opportunities that people with pre-existing conditions have. Marketplace plans cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions, according to HealthCareGov.org:

  • No insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for pre-existing conditions.

6. Individual and Family Health Insurance

You can get quotes from various health insurance companies and buy individual or family health insurance the same way you would by home or auto insurance. These plans work similar to what an employer would offer their employees.

7 . High Deductible Health Plans

Getting a high deductible "emergency" policy is a better way to maintain a low-cost health insurance plan and keeping a Health Savings Account for smaller health issues will probably save you money in the long run.


8. Short Term Health Insurance Coverage 

Short term health insurance coverage is a form of individual health insurance policy that only provides coverage for a specified length of time. People who need time to examine their individual and family health insurance choices but still would like to be covered quickly to avoid any coverage gaps sometimes choose this option. Because it is a short-term length of coverage the costs may be lower because when you spread the risk over a limited time as opposed to maintaining coverage for the long term, the risk may be diminished. Whenever possible it is better to find a long-term plan for yourself so that you do not have to keep worrying about finding temporary solutions. More »

9. Group Insurance From Organization Memberships

This is often an overlooked source of affordable or low-cost health insurance.

Some people are members of specific organizations that offer health insurance coverage. For example, people who are members of University Alumni Associations can obtain a variety of insurance choices. Although these organizations do not help pay the health insurance premiums like an employer would, the rates would be lower because of the group discount. Figure out what organizations you are a member of and see if they offer group health insurance. You could also research organizations that provide group health insurance and join those groups, or even ask current organizations you are a member with to offer group health insurance. They may not realize they could offer a plan to their members. More »

10. Group Health Expenses Sharing Plan/Health Care Sharing Ministry (HCSM) 

A health expenses sharing plan is not insurance but may be an option if you can find a reputable group that has been successfully doing this for a long time. A health expenses sharing plan is when a group of people pool their money together and pay each others' health expenses essentially self-insuring or functioning like their own "insurance company". The contributions are pooled together and usually invested in order to accrue interest on the pooled funds. It works well when the participants are only using the money for major medical expenses. A health care sharing ministry (HCSM) is when a group of people who share similar and sincerely held beliefs decide to create a health expenses sharing plan. An HCSM is a non-profit entity and not an insurance company. It is important to note that these plans may have limitations that you would not normally find in insurance company plans, such as restrictions on procedures the group finds morally objectionable. There are religious groups that use this model successfully. Examples of group expense sharing health plans are Medi-Share, and Samaritan Ministries among others. More »

11. Health Insurance Discount Cards

health insurance discount cards allow the member to benefit from negotiated low-cost health services. This is not an insurance plan, but it is an option to explore if you have fully explored everything else, including Obamacare and the healthcare marketplace. With a health insurance discount card, you pay a small monthly fee for membership so that when you go to the doctor or hospital you will get a discounted rate on your services. Because it is not an insurance plan, you still end up paying all your medical costs, but you can get a discount. If you choose this option you should still be working towards getting health insurance in the future. More »