ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Amid of the worst public health crises in history, a record number of Americans are without health insurance.
Now a new study Zippia shows more Michigan residents lost insurance from COVID-19 than almost anywhere else in the country.
The pandemic continues leaving families struggling to make ends meet--- including one Royal Oak man we spoke to who found himself uninsured, while fighting for his life and against unaffordable costs.
"I was able to get unemployment but still being on unemployment wasn’t able to keep my health care for myself and my daughter," said Austin Moyer. "It was just too costly."
Austin Moyer worked in the hotel business when he was laid off.
Collecting unemployment and unable to keep his health care plan-COBRA was not an option but just as his search for coverage began, Moyer had a life-threatening emergency.
"In May, I ended up with a pulmonary embolism where I had a couple of blood clots on my lungs," said Moyer. "Very scary!"
With an emergency surgery and a three-day stay at Beaumont - the bill racked about $200,000.
Luckily, the hospital helped him enroll in Medicaid and his bill was covered but then a new problem!
Moyer had to figure out how to cover his life saving prescriptions.
"The medication, just for a month's supply its over $500," said Moyer.
Austin is not alone. About 222,000 workers have lost their insurance due to job loss in the State of Michigan.
"If you lose your health insurance there are a number of options for you," said Anita Fox.
Anita Fox, Direct of Michigan Department of Insurance and Finance Services, is sharing what to do if you fall into that statistic.
"Under the Affordable Care Act you may be entitled to a subsidy that gives you health care at low cost or even no cost especially someone who’s lost their job and no longer has income," said Fox.
Answer questions at healthcare.gov and find out what you’re eligible for then consider seeking out an assister.
"Assisters are usually community organizations like health clinics that make, provide some care to people that are uninsured," said Cheryl Fish Parcham.
Cheryl Fish-Parcham. with Families USA, says there is great help right in your own community. Groups like Ferncare, a non-profit health clinic ---Moyer found help getting a no cost prescription for the year.
"There are lots of resources out there, don’t give up," added Fish-Parcham.
So here’s the Rebound Rundown
- Speak to someone in your company’s Human Resources Department to find out when your coverage technically ends
- Consider signing up for a continuation of health coverage under your current employer, through COBRA
- Log on to healthcare.gov to determine your best options under the Affordable Care Act
Consider your eligibility for health coverage through Medicaid or Medicare
If you have questions about what’s best for you. The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services provides a live call center Monday through Friday 8-5 if you have any questions. Call 1-877-999-6442
ACCESS in Dearborn is another great community resource that will help you through the health care enrollment process.