If you are a recently unemployed baby boomer, keeping or getting access to health care is critical. At the same time, older workers must preserve and protect retirement accounts if at all possible. It helps to have access to resources that explain your rights and options for continuing or securing new health insurance coverage.
Government Resources for Unemployed Older Workers
Detailed information on the recent changes in COBRA coverage for the unemployed is available from the House Committee on Education and Labor. Since they wrote the recent law on the subject, this is an excellent place to read how they intend for those changes to apply to the unemployed older worker.
Other Health Care Resources for the Unemployed
The New York Times recently published a very good article describing strategies for continuing healthcare coverageafter losing your job. I particularly like the suggestion to stretch your coverage out by using the full 63 days allotted to you to apply for COBRA benefits.
Finally, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a wealth of information about insurance at the state and federal level. Of particular interest is the “InsureU” section which provides information for older workers. There are also links to your state insurance commissioner site, where you can find even more information.
Final Thoughts on Health Care for the Unemployed Boomer
The key to me is that you have to be proactive and seek out solutions. We cannot expect more government help in the near term. Universal health care is probably in our future but it won’t come soon enough if you lose your job this year.