November 27, 2009, Newsletter Issue #99: Help! I'm Losing My Health Insurance.

Tip of the Week

Many seniors face the harsh realities of losing their health insurance. It is a difficult time; not only because of the transitions required, but also seniors tend to have more physical ailments, making health insurance a necessity. If you are between the ages of 50 and 64 (most seniors receive Medicare at age 65), and are losing or have lost your health benefits, there are some things that you can do.
Check into a COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) benefits. COBRA is a Federal law that will help you receive your benefits for a longer time, typically for at least a year or more, while you look for other coverage.
You may be able to change your group health insurance policy to an individual plan. Check to see if this is an option.
You may qualify for insurance under some organizations that you already belong to: look into your past professional organizations, social or community based organizations, as well as any fraternal organizations and see if they provide health insurance, for instance, the AARP offers health insurance.
HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) helps to ensure that your insurance rights are protected when moving between health insurance plans.
If you have lost a substantial amount of income, apply for Medicaid.

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