3 Things to Do if You Lost a Job & Health Insurance
If you lost your job, take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination. Many other people are in the same situation you’re in right now, and we will all get through this.
If you take a few simple steps now, not only will you have a job again but you may even land a better job than the one you had before the pandemic.
Now is also a good time to start paying better attention to your health. Making sure that you have health insurance is important, more than ever, in case you do get sick. One trip to the hospital can otherwise set you back thousands of dollars.
If you’re having difficulty making timely payments for your housing costs, it’s important to be communicative with landlords and mortgage lenders. You have options. We’re here to help.
1. Update Your Resume
If you got laid off and have no idea when you’ll have a job again, think of this time as an opportunity to give your life a facelift. Find a job that will withstand stay-at-home orders. This may not be the only time in your life that a pandemic strikes. In fact, some scientists are predicting that there will be other super viruses affecting us in the future.
The good news is that many companies are withstanding the restrictions the pandemic is placing on people’s activities. In addition to scores of essential jobs, there are virtual positions available now that used to be performed in an office environment. Visit popular job sites like Indeed, Zip Recruiter and Glassdoor to see what positions are available. Whomever is hiring right now obviously has the cash flow and technologies in place to offer you your dream job, possibly one working from home!
A great use of the stimulus money, if you haven’t spent it already, is to invest in your next job. Get your resume professionally edited and designed. It’ll be worth it if it makes you stand out as a good candidate. Remember, you are competing against many other people who are vying for the same position so it’s important to have a polished resume that is free of errors and typos. Reviewing your resume with an editor will also help you clarify your selling points as a candidate.
2. Get Health Insurance
As if the threat of becoming infected with the coronavirus weren’t enough, many of us now have anxiety about getting infected with COVID-19 without having any health insurance. Some of us had no prior health insurance while others lost theirs after losing their jobs.
We have one bit of sage advice for you: Buy your own health insurance now. Don’t wait until you get another job because you don’t know when that will be. Buy your health coverage and negotiate for more pay when you do land a job. You can do this because you won’t be buying health insurance through the company.
It’s crazy these days with job scarcity and job uncertainty. Sometimes it’s best to keep your private life separate from work. Some people opt to buy their own health insurance, even when it’s offered by an employer. Many do this to keep their medical situation private. There are all sorts of pros to having your health insurance not tied to work. For one thing, you can stay with the same doctors for as long as you like without having to find new doctors each time you change jobs and insurance companies.
You don’t have to wait for Open Enrollment to buy health insurance either. If you lost a job, that’s considered a Qualifying Event, which means that you can buy health insurance today. It’s always best to compare quotes to see what rates are available in your area. Compare coverages too. Most Americans buy a silver-tier plan but pick a plan based on how often you see a doctor. If you have any pre-existing conditions that require a specialist and several visits a year consider a gold or platinum plan. Also, consider how many medications you take, if any. These factors will make a big difference in terms of which coverage will save you more money in the long run. For one thing, you may save money with a plan that costs more each month but covers more services. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, by knowing how to choose the right health insurance plan.
Consider working with a trustworthy agent who can help you figure out which plan is right for you. All you need to do to start is by entering your zip code below, and SmartFinancial will pair you with the right person who can help you buy an affordable health insurance plan for the year.
3. Pay Mortgage and Rent
Federal regulators are requiring that mortgage lenders allow homeowners some flexibility in making payments. In most states, there is a freeze on evictions. While these protective measures may not prevent you from accruing payments that you’ll need to make at a later date, at least you will have a safe place to stay while you get back on your feet.
Contact your mortgage company or apartment manager so they are aware of your situation. They will help you make arrangements. Some apartment communities are allowing tenants to pay rent with a credit card. While the options available may only defer financial hardship, it’s important that you act responsibly now, to avoid late fees and other problems that may arise if you put off communicating with the right people now.
If you can, it may be a good idea to consolidate your living expenses by moving in with family or friends or possibly having them move in with you, even if it’s temporary. If you have an existing lease, be aware that your contract is still valid even if you lost your job and can’t afford rent. Do everything you can to lighten the burden. If you simply can’t get out of your lease, see if any of your friends are interested in moving in so you can share living expenses.
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Wondering how your little one is doing? Here are some healthy signs that he or she is doing just fine. But it’s always a good idea to have health insurance for your baby, especially the first year.
Choosing a higher deductible plan will help to lower your health insurance premium. So this is a smart financial move. As is keeping a small emergency fund to pay for medical expenses until you reach that deductible.
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It’s always a good idea to get acquainted with the way plans are set up and what you’re responsible to pay before open enrollment which takes place in late fall. If you have a qualifying event, like a new job or if you’ve moved, had a baby, gotten divorced or had any life change that affect your coverage, you may be able to buy a new health insurance plan today.
Like auto and homeowners insurance healthcare insurance also has a deductible which needs to be paid before insurance begins to cover expenses. However, healthcare deductibles work a little differently. For instance, your healthcare insurance will pay for some services even before you meet your deductible.
You may be shopping for health insurance because you got a new job, which doesn’t offer health insurance. Some people even prefer to have a health plan separate from their jobs. It’s usually a more expensive option to buy an individual health insurance policy when an employer offers to pay a portion of your premiums each month. However, some people prefer to choose their own insurance company and a plan that fits their needs.