There could be many reasons you could lose your employer-sponsored health insurance. Your company could forgo providing coverage; you could switch careers or undergo a layoff, where your benefits lapse. In the unfortunate event this happens, knowing which options you have ensures you keep coverage.

You’ll be Eligible for COBRA

COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) ensures you continue to have access to health insurance if you have a reduction in work hours or a separation from your employer. COBRA provides the same benefits as your previous health insurance for everyone under your policy, but fair warning: it’s very expensive. So this should be a last-option resort.

You Can Buy Insurance Through the Marketplace

When you lose health insurance with your employer, it is a qualifying life event. What this means is you’re eligible for a special enrollment period–up to 60 days– where you can buy insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Moreover, signing up for insurance through the marketplace is easy to do. There are four tiers of coverage ranging from bronze (the most basic coverages) up to platinum which offers more comprehensive coverages and often a lower deductible. Once you sign up and pay for your first premium, you’ll receive coverage on the first day of the next month.

Explore All Alternatives

Losing your job will affect your household’s income. And depending on how much income your family makes, you could qualify for Medicaid. When you apply for insurance on the marketplace, they’ll use income and household size to determine eligibility.

Meanwhile, if you served in the Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge, you might qualify for health insurance with the Veteran’s Administration. You can contact the VA to determine if you’re eligible.

Even though this can be a difficult time, there are options available. To learn more about these and other insurance needs, contact an independent Cole Harrison agent today.

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