Losing your health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:47 AM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 17:58:59-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Millions of people across the country have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of them have also lost their employer-sponsored health insurance.

When social distancing requirements aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus were put in place, it led to mass layoffs.

In fact, the Texas Workforce Commission has helped more than one million Texans apply for unemployment in just the last month alone.

“Here in Texas we got a great Texas Department of Insurance that can help and answer questions on their website,” said lawyer/nurse practitioner Joe Flores.

It’s more important than ever to have health insurance, but you may not know where to start.

“I would strongly recommend that you look at your employer or former employer’s insurance policy and see what is extended. If there is more than 20 or more, COBRA generally applies where you can pay up to 102 percent of the premium of what your employer paid which is very expensive.

You also might look at, if COBRA does not apply, short-term insurance which can be advantageous,” said Flores.

Joe Flores, who is a lawyer and nurse practitioner, says workers facing a coronavirus-related loss of employer-based health insurance should move quickly to find alternative coverage.

“Let’s try to get you help at the local level. The county judge and the county commissioner are working hard to provide that coverage to people who are down on one knee. We can go through the state, and we can also go through short-term insurance coverage,” said Flores.

If you are struggling to figure out your options during this uncertain time, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have never encountered anything like this and insurance companies are stepping up. They get a bad rap, but they are providing deferred payments, they are providing insurance where you can get something more affordable if you are laid off,” said Flores.

People who have lost their health insurance during this time need to know there is help out there.

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