Most people are covered through the workplace, so when they lose their jobs, they lose their health benefits. On average, for each jobless worker who has lost insurance, at least one child or spouse covered under the same policy has also lost protection, public health experts said.Expanding access to health insurance, with federal subsidies, was a priority for President-elect Barack Obama and the new Democratic Congress. The increase in the ranks of the uninsured, including middle-class families with strong ties to the work force, adds urgency to their efforts.
When your health insurance is sponsored by your employer, as it is for 158 million Americans, losing your job or having your hours reduced can amount to a double whammy: Gone not only is your income but the health coverage cheap health insurance you counted on. And with less money coming in, financing a replacement option on your own often becomes a high hurdle.If you don’t have a spouse’s employer group plan available to you as a back-up, there’s always Cobra, the acronym for the law that allows you to continue on your employer’s plan generally up to 18 months after a job loss — as long as your employer has at least 20 workers. If you worked for a small business that offered health coverage, you may be able to get Cobra-like continuation from a state-administered program. Visit Georgetown’s “Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance” atto learn more about Health Insurance in Ohio your state’s programs and options.