here have been seismic changes in the workplace due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizations that earlier ensure that production continues at any cost are now encouraging work from home either till the year-end or permanently. People always have solid reasons to change jobs like moving ahead in a career, working closer to home, or exploring new interest areas. There is no dearth of jobs for skilled personnel, as employers value highly skilled workers.
As of June 2020, over 11% of the workforce is unemployed during this health pandemic and over 5,000,000 people had reportedly lost their health insurance between February and May 2020. Thus, it is a scary time to change jobs or health insurance plans, and in a recent survey, it was discovered that around 49% of people are reluctant to switch jobs currently simply because they wish to keep their health benefits during a pandemic. Individuals who are currently looking to switch jobs amidst the pandemic should keep the following tips in mind.
Tips to Consider
People should carefully go through their current plan
People are always advised to carefully read and understand their health insurance plan. It is generally observed that people don’t go through their health insurance policy document until some medical emergency occurs and they need to know whether they are covered or not. During times like the COVID crisis, it is better for people to be prepared and so they should review their current health plan by starting with the Summary of Benefits page. This will give them a quick snapshot of the benefits that are covered under their plan.
People should know their health insurance needs
It is important for people to know what they want their health plans to cover, as this will help them in understanding the kind of health coverage they will need. If people have any pre-existing medical conditions or chronic illnesses like diabetes or emphysema, then they will want their new health plan to cover their conditions. If people are taking prescriptions for any ongoing medical condition, then they will surely want coverage for their prescription drugs as well.
Determine their Budget
People should review their monthly budget and saving account, as this will help them determine whether a high-deductible health plan is right for them, or a plan with high monthly premiums and a low deductible. It is important for them to know that high-deductible plans have high out-of-pocket costs too. People having a healthy savings account can opt for a plan with a lower monthly premium and a high-deductible. People whose companies offer them a Health Savings Account can use it to pay the deductible, thereby making a high-deductible plan more attractive for them.
Carefully Check out the new plan before committing for the new job
People are advised to carefully go through all the health insurance-related information along with any HSA benefits offered by the company before accepting the job offers. The employer-sponsored health plan is part of their overall benefits package, and so people should take time to compare it against their current plan so that they know if their employer-sponsored coverage is better, worse, or the same. Individuals should also check if their doctor is in the new plan’s network, and they should also check their monthly premium and deductible amount, as these generally vary and are important factors of their budget.
Alternative Options in case if the job doesn’t work out
The biggest fear in people while changing jobs is what will happen if their new job doesn’t work out, especially during a time of pandemic like COVID. Will they be left without health insurance during a health pandemic? However, people should be assured that there are several options available to them. They may be eligible to continue their employer’s plan through COBRA at their own expense, another option is an ACA-plan that also covers them for any pre-existing medical conditions or regular prescriptions, short-term plans, which are designed to cover people who are between jobs for unexpected accidents or illnesses.
Thus, it can be said that switching plans should not be a scary experience, even during a health pandemic. People just need to carefully analyze their health coverage needs, compare their existing as well as their new plan, keep their budget in mind and they should remember that they do have options.