The term “high risk” is a bit of a misnomer. Not everyone who an insurance company considers high risk has a high risk lifestyle. They don’t jump out of planes, or work as underwater welders. No, “high risk” is insurance code for “likely not to pay.” Anytime you are in a situation where you might have to pay another bill before your insurance bill, anytime you’re health is put at risk, you become so classified.
In many ways, it’s just as hard to shake off this label as it is to shake off a bad police record. If you’re unemployed, working part-time, or have been recently diagnosed with a disease like cancer, you may find it almost impossible to get health insurance. However, if you are uninsured, not to worry – there are things that you can do. The government provides many programs for individuals with distressing situations that leave them unemployed especially on the state level. If you happen to live in California, here are some things that you can do to get cheap health insurance:
Medi-Cal and Healthy Families
This is a program for those who cannot afford health care, especially families who can’t afford their own health plan. You can get coverage if you’re pregnant, if you’re the caretaker of someone with a disability, if you’re terminally ill, or a if you’re a single parent with a child who is still living at home. It is also worth knowing that even if you don’t qualify for Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, there is a good chance your children will (the income qualifications are higher for children then they are for adults). Usually the qualification is $40,000 or so for a family of 4. Along with health coverage, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families also offers income assistance to families in need as well.
Usually, Medicare only applies to those individuals 65 years of age or older. However, if you have a disability or a serious medical condition, Medicare will often help you. To qualify, your disability will have to last at least a year (or at least be projected to last that long), or is expected to be the cause of your death (cancer, etc). In order to get Medicare if you are disabled, you have to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 2 years before you can enroll in Medicare.
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