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Author Topic: what happens if I lose my job, and health insurance?  (Read 713 times)

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Offline survivor703

  • Member
  • Posts: 106
what happens if I lose my job, and health insurance?
« on: May 16, 2014, 04:37:37 PM »
Hello all,

I just started meds as some of you may know. My employers sponsored health insurance pays for everything, but I'm trying to think down the line about the "what if's." Let's say I lose my job or something, and I'm left insurance-less, what would I need to do to keep getting the particular drugs in my regimen? I need to have a back up plan in place since my life kinda depends on this. 

Also I know that I can buy health insurance through the affordable care act, but if I'm jobless, obviously I won't be able to afford the insurance. Any ideas?

Thanks,
survivor
02/14/2012 Diagnosed (Happy valentines day)
02/15/2012 CD4 502 21%, VL 69,134
04/10/2012 CD4 607 22%, VL 60,893
10/08/2012 CD4 615 15%, VL 155,981
03/01/2014 CD4 340 17%  VL 65,689
05/05/2014 1:18PM EST Started Truvada + Tivicay
06/03/2014 CD4 620 20% VL 30 (almost UD!)
09/08/2014 CD4 822 22% VL 55
Next Labs 12/2014

Offline vertigo

  • Member
  • Posts: 142
Re: what happens if I lose my job, and health insurance?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2014, 05:18:22 PM »
First of all, if you were to be laid off you could continue coverage for up to 18 months thru COBRA.  You would have to make the monthly premium payments, however.  (Always a good idea to have money saved up for just this sort of thing.)

Secondly, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there no longer is a ban on pre-existing conditions.  So during that 18 months you would hopefully find another job with employer-based health care.  Then you would be back to where you are now.

Alternately, if you were unable to find work during that period, you could enroll in an ACA (Obamacare) plan thru one of the exchanges, state or federal.  Obviously you have to pay the premiums, but if your income had dropped low enough there is subsidy assistance available.

Also, I think you mentioned you have a partner?  It's possible you could go onto his coverage depending on whether you're married or registered domestic partners, and depending on his employer's policies.

Finally, if you're dirt broke there are assistance programs available -- Medicaid, Ryan White, etc.  But you'll be spending your assets down to nada at this point.

It's natural to worry about maintaining access to care, and always good to know the options.  But if you have a steady job right now and good coverage I wouldn't get too stressed out over it.

(If I've missed or misstated something here, I hope that other members will correct me.)

Offline leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,324
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: what happens if I lose my job, and health insurance?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2014, 06:42:07 PM »
in the worst case scenario of poverty, Ryan White funding (unless you're unlucky enough to live in Utah which has a Waiting List) though the ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) and local ASO (AIDS service organizations) can step in to help. if your earnings are low enough, ADAP can help purchase insurance, pay premiums and/or copays. ADAP can even just out-n-out purchase your meds. ASOs also help with getting access to healthcare. If you're in a state with Medicaid Expansion, that program could help you keep your meds and basic care. some states even have temporary/limited Medicaid.

now, i'm not saying that getting HIV meds and healthcare is in any way easy here in America - but after 30 yrs of PLWH advocating for ourselves and our friends, family and health caregivers advocating for us PLWH, there are a lot of structures/programs that will help you have access to your meds regardless of your financial status.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline survivor703

  • Member
  • Posts: 106
Re: what happens if I lose my job, and health insurance?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 07:56:54 PM »
thanks for the information guys... this definitely helps me rest assured. And by the way, I live in Washington, DC. It seems like we do have the medicare expansion program here from a basic google search that I did.
02/14/2012 Diagnosed (Happy valentines day)
02/15/2012 CD4 502 21%, VL 69,134
04/10/2012 CD4 607 22%, VL 60,893
10/08/2012 CD4 615 15%, VL 155,981
03/01/2014 CD4 340 17%  VL 65,689
05/05/2014 1:18PM EST Started Truvada + Tivicay
06/03/2014 CD4 620 20% VL 30 (almost UD!)
09/08/2014 CD4 822 22% VL 55
Next Labs 12/2014

 


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