TX – Can I get health insurance if I’ve been voluntarily unemployed since May 2020?

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I’ll probably come across like a huge dumbass, but here’s the story:

I’m 29 years old. In May 2020 I decided to voluntarily quit my job in TX. I declined the COBRA coverage that my job offered me, because the plan monthly cost was extortionate.

Since then, from May 2020 to today, I’ve basically been on short term health care insurance with Golden Rule insurance (via United Healthcare). I’ve been buying their top-tier short term plans (about $178/month) in bouts of 3 month contracts. So in December I renewed another 3 month short term health insurance contract to last me from Dec 2020 to the end of Feb 2021.

I’ve been doing this because I’ve had plans to move back to the UK (I’m a dual UK/USA citizen) but because of coronavirus my plans are constantly being pushed back.

Anyways, I’ve basically said fuck those plans. I’ve decided to stay in the USA. I would now like to get an actual plan from healthcare.gov, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed. I clearly missed the open enrollment period. I’m not really sure if I qualify. Will they just be like, “this unemployed dumbass had 8 months to make a decision, fuck him.”

I also 100% plan on staying voluntarily unemployed through the entirety of 2021. I’m nowhere close to retirement age, it’s just sort of an extended personal sabbatical. So since my estimated income will be $0 for the year, does that mean I’m supposed to apply for Medicaid instead? That feels illegal at worst, and immoral at best, since I do have the financial resources to support myself.

To top it all off, I’m moving to New York in March, and I’m so confused on how that might change things.

If anyone can give me some advice, that would be wonderful. Healthcare was just so much less confusing in the UK, and I really feel like I’m over my head here.

TLDR: voluntarily unemployed for 8 months, I need to get some health insurance, I have no idea what I’m doing.

EDIT: If I had to take a sincere guess on my best next steps, it would be that I should stick with my short term health care for the rest of Jan/Feb, and use my move to New York (once i’m settled there) as a qualifying event for the healthcare.gov special enrollment period.

submitted by /u/jujijengo
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I’ll probably come across like a huge dumbass, but here’s the story: I’m 29 years old. In May 2020 I decided to voluntarily quit my job in TX. I declined the COBRA coverage that my job offered me, because the plan monthly cost was extortionate. Since then, from May 2020 to today, I’ve basically been on short term health care insurance with Golden Rule insurance (via United Healthcare). I’ve been buying their top-tier short term plans (about $178/month) in bouts of 3 month contracts. So in December I renewed another 3 month short term health insurance contract to last me from Dec 2020 to the end of Feb 2021. I’ve been doing this because I’ve had plans to move back to the UK (I’m a dual UK/USA citizen) but because of coronavirus my plans are constantly being pushed back. Anyways, I’ve basically said fuck those plans. I’ve decided to stay in the USA. I would now like to get an actual plan from healthcare.gov, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed. I clearly missed the open enrollment period. I’m not really sure if I qualify. Will they just be like, “this unemployed dumbass had 8 months to make a decision, fuck him.” I also 100% plan on staying voluntarily unemployed through the entirety of 2021. I’m nowhere close to retirement age, it’s just sort of an extended personal sabbatical. So since my estimated income will be $0 for the year, does that mean I’m supposed to apply for Medicaid instead? That feels illegal at worst, and immoral at best, since I do have the financial resources to support myself. To top it all off, I’m moving to New York in March, and I’m so confused on how that might change things. If anyone can give me some advice, that would be wonderful. Healthcare was just so much less confusing in the UK, and I really feel like I’m over my head here. TLDR: voluntarily unemployed for 8 months, I need to get some health insurance, I have no idea what I’m doing. EDIT: If I had to take a sincere guess on my best next steps, it would be that I should stick with my short term health care for the rest of Jan/Feb, and use my move to New York (once i’m settled there) as a qualifying event for the healthcare.gov special enrollment period.
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