Understanding Health Insurance for People in Between Jobs


When you’re between jobs or transitioning into a new career, it can be hard to know where to turn for health insurance. There are quite a few different options out there and unless you’re an expert on each one, it can feel a bit overwhelming and confusing.

Regardless of whether you left your job on purpose, you’re finding a new career, or you’ve been laid off, you’ll want to understand what you’re options are and find the best one that suits your specific needs.

Here is everything you need to know about health insurance when you’re in between jobs.

Do I need Health Insurance?

Yes, you do need health insurance. Even if you’re not employed or have a job with benefits, you should still make sure that you’re covered for medical expenses. This will ensure that any unexpected medical bills are taken care of and that your financial situation is secure.

Without health insurance, you’re putting yourself at risk of having to pay for costly medical treatment out of pocket.

How to Get Health Insurance Between Jobs

There are a few different ways to get health insurance between jobs. It’s important that you research each option carefully and consider any potential downsides before signing up for a plan.

The first thing you need to find out though is when you’re previous insurance ends. Depending on the employer your plan could:

  • End immediately
  • End on the last day of the month
  • Cover you for a few more months

Depending on your circumstances, will determine your next step. For example, if you already have another job lined up but it doesn’t start for a few weeks or months, then you’ll need an insurance alternative such as short term medical insurance. But if it’s only for a few days, you may consider going without any for those days.

Health Insurance Options When You’re in Between Jobs

You have several different options to choose from:

  • Get covered under your spouse’s health plan
  • Short Term Medical Insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Individual insurance

Let’s take a look at each one of these options to help you better understand what may work best for your circumstances.

Get Covered Under Your Spouse’s Health Plan

If you don’t have a job or are transitioning between jobs, you may be able to get covered under your spouse’s health plan. This is often the most cost effective option if it’s available and can offer peace of mind that you’re still protected in case of any unexpected medical expenses.

This also tends to be a fairly easy transition as well. The downside of this option is that it only works during the open enrollment period. So if you missed open enrollment, this won’t be an option anymore. The other downside of going under your spouse’s plan is that it could raise the premiums.

Short Term Medical Insurance

Short term medical insurance is a great option if you don’t have coverage from an employer and need medical insurance for a set amount of time. This type of plan provides comprehensive coverage for treatments such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and more.

Most of the time you are able to choose the level of commitment and coverage for your plan. This makes it a great option for protecting yourself and your finances from any unexpected medical bills.

Plans will have a range of deductibles, coinsurance levels, and terms, usually starting at 30 days. Lastly, unlike if you’re trying to get on your spouse’s plan, you don’t need to wait for an open enrollment period. So you can sign up for short term medical insurance at any time.


COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It essentially allows you to remain on your former employer’s health plan for a certain period after you leave the job. This is an attractive choice if you’re between jobs since it will give you the same coverage that you had when employed.

COBRA gives you 60 days to decide if you would like to continue your former employer’s coverage. This allows you to keep the insurance up to 18 months if you choose. However, this comes at a very expensive drawback. Costing many families an average of $22,000.

It was at one time the only real option for people who lost their insurance while in between jobs. But with new options such as short term medical insurance, this is no longer the case.


Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance program that helps people with low incomes. If you don’t have any other options, this may be something to look into. However, it’s important to do your research as eligibility requirements vary from state to state.

You’ll need to check and see if you’re eligible for Medicaid in your state. Depending on where you are, you may be able to get coverage if your income is below a certain threshold.

Individual Insurance

Individual insurance is an option worth exploring as well if all the other options don’t work out. There are many different types of plans available through private insurers that can provide you with the coverage you need.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) categorizes health plans based on their metal level. This classification considers factors such as premiums, out-of-pocket costs, coverage provided by the insurer, and the member’s share of expenses.

Depending on the plan you go with, you may have lower premiums but more out-of-pocket costs. Each level will have its positives and negatives. These plans do typically cost more then you’re company insurance or short term medical insurance.

By understanding your health care needs and researching your options, you can find the right insurance plan for between jobs. Taking the time to do this will ensure that you’re covered when needed and help protect your finances in case of any unexpected medical bills.

What To Keep In Mind When Choosing Health Insurance Between Jobs

When selecting a health insurance option between jobs, there are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Review your current and future health needs.
  • Research each of the options available carefully before signing up for a plan.
  • Be aware of any potential downsides associated with the different plans.
  • Understand the differences in premiums, coverage levels, and other details that come with each plan.
  • Make sure that you’re signing up for the right plan to meet your needs.

By taking the time to review all of these factors, you can make an informed decision about which health insurance option is the best fit between jobs. Knowing what type of coverage is available and understanding how it works will help ensure that you’re getting the best protection and coverage for your situation. This will also help you save money in the long run.

Finding Medical Insurance for Peace of Mind

Don’t leave your health to chance while you’re in between jobs. At SGIC Insurance, we provide comprehensive short term medical insurance plans that are designed to meet your unique needs.

Remember, health emergencies don’t wait for you to find the perfect job. Let us take care of your health while you focus on your career transition. Contact us now to find out more and start your coverage today.