Countdown to ObamaCare (Part 3): What if I’m unemployed?

Friday, September 27, 2013
Chris Woodward (

What does the advent of ObamaCare mean for the unemployed who, according to law, must buy insurance under the healthcare law?

‘Countdown to ObamaCare’ series

Part 1: The basics – who and how much?
Part 2: Will ‘healthcare exchanges’ affect me?
Part 3: What if I’m unemployed?
Part 4: How many choices will I have?

Part 3 of a four-part series

High unemployment remains an issue for America and the economy – and those who currently out of work may very well be concerned what their options are under the Affordable Care Act. According to Devon Herrick, senior fellow with the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Center for Policy Analysis, unemployed individuals could try and get on their spouse's insurance.

Herrick, Devon (NCPA)"But assuming that you don't have access to a spouse and their job, you would have two options,” he explains. “One would be to check and see if you are eligible for Medicaid; and if you are that would be what you would have to enroll in.

“But if you are not eligible for Medicaid, then you would have access to subsidized coverage in the exchange."

According to, eligibility and government subsidies will be determined by household size and income – not by employment status.

Countdown to ObamaCare!The exchanges are set to begin October 1, and will be operated by either the applicant’s state or, in states that choose not to create an exchange, by the federal government. According to data provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation, most exchanges will be operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Associated Press reports the federal government has had to take the lead in setting up markets in 36 states – a development unforeseen when the law was passed.

Look for Part 4 in this series on Monday

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