There are many reasons why you may need to terminate your coverage, and it’s important to know what your options are before you make any changes. If you’re considering terminating your employment, it’s important to understand when your coverage will end. Some states do not allow you to keep group health insurance once you leave your job, but if you’re still eligible, there are special enrollment windows that you can use to renew your coverage.
What is COBRA?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) is a federal law that provides employees and their families with the opportunity to temporarily extend health insurance coverage, for up to 18 months or 36 months after they leave their job. However, you can lose your health coverage if you’re fired for misconduct or change your marital status. Moreover, COBRA is not applicable to employees who’ve left their jobs because they engaged in gross misconduct, which usually means illegal or reckless actions.
Who Qualifies for COBRA?
COBRA is offered to anyone who has worked for an employer for at least three months. This type of insurance applies to employers with more than 20 employees. You must apply for coverage within 60 days after termination. If you’ve been continuously insured for more than three months, you’re probably eligible for continuation coverage.
How to Apply for COBRA
First, make sure you know what the qualifying event is. For example, if you quit your job, and you’re still paying your premiums, you need to be covered by your employer’s health care plan for at least 90 days. You can also contact the insurer directly to find out more information.
Once you have left your job, your employer must give you information on COBRA and your rights. After that, you have 60 days to decide if you wish to have continued coverage. When you’ve finished your paperwork, you can then submit your application. If you are eligible for COBRA, your employer must provide you with a short-term health plan. This coverage is usually effective for a year and can be renewed two more times.
You should keep in mind that your coverage under COBRA can be terminated at any time. It’s important to note that your coverage must be identical to your previous coverage. You must also remember that COBRA has strict rules. You must follow them or your coverage may be canceled.
Buying a Health Plan Through the Marketplace
Buying an insurance plan through the health insurance marketplace after leaving a job is easy, but you’ll have to know what to look for. Some employers require you to provide proof of your qualifying event before you can enroll in an individual plan. Fortunately, most employers have the same rules for these events. Once you’ve found a health plan, you’ll just have to apply. There is also a special enrollment period for people who have been unemployed for a long time.
If you have a 401(k) plan with your former employer, you might be able to use a Marketplace plan that includes a subsidy. You can also choose the insurance company you prefer. This way, you can choose from different options. If you have a health savings account, you can also use it as a payment method for the premiums of the Marketplace plan you’ve chosen.
Applying for Medicaid
When an individual loses their job, they may also lose their health insurance benefits. If they’re not eligible for employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid may be an option. Medicaid coverage is available to individuals who are unemployed and lack insurance, but it can be difficult to qualify for. There are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage.
The first requirement is that the individual must be a US citizen or legal resident. If the individual is not a US citizen or legal resident, they may still qualify for Medicaid if they meet one of the following criteria:
- They are pregnant
- They have children under 19 living with them
- They have family members living with them who meet one of these criteria
- They live in an institution like a nursing home, hospital, or other care facilities
- The individual’s income does not exceed 133% of the poverty level
To learn more, contact Harmony Health Insurance Services.