TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In a country where health insurance is largely tied to employment, staggering unemployment numbers mean many have lost health coverage during this pandemic.
It's led tens of thousands of people to flock to the unemployment website to sign up for benefits.
But those benefits don't include health insurance, so here's what your options are:
The first step is to head over to COVER Arizona.
By calling or logging onto the site, you’ll be given assistance to find what healthcare coverage you qualify for, they’ll find you cash assistance, and even help you find free help programs like Access and Kids Care.
Eligibility will be based on your income, the size of your household, whether you have children or are pregnant, your immigration status and whether you’re a caretaker.
Another helpful resource is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA.
This program allows you to stay on your employer-provided health insurance after you've been let go.
It's often not cheap but allows you to keep your same insurance, which may be beneficial.
You are responsible for the full cost of coverage and you must have been under the coverage plan before getting let go.
You have 60 days after losing your job to decide if you want to be covered through COBRA.
If you’re looking for a local touch, contact the United Way Tucson.
They have lots of information surrounding the virus and local resources you can use.
They'll walk you through healthcare options and direct you to the right people to speak with to see what you qualify for and sign up for coverage.
Meredith Bode, the community engagement manager for United Way Tucson encouraged people who need help to contact them.
“Everybody’s kind of facing a tough time right now,” Bode said. "We’re here to help. Don’t be shy. Get the help that you need and take care of yourself.“