If I lose my job, what happens with my health insurance?

UPDATED: Jan 31, 2014

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UPDATED: Jan 31, 2014Fact Checked

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Asked January 31, 2014

1 Answer

If you get your health insurance through your employer, losing your job creates a concern about your health coverage as well. The good news is that your employer-sponsored health insurance will not immediately. The bad news is that you will have to pay an initial fee and any portion previously paid by your employer. The key to your continued health coverage is COBRA, a federal law written for your exact situation.

COBRA, the Comprehensive Omnibus Reconciliation Act, was signed into law in the mid-1990's, and expressly addressed the problem of employees losing their health insurance upon termination from an employer. Under COBRA, you have the option of continuing the coverage for up to 18 months, or 36 months with a special extension. Keeping your old insurance under COBRA will cost you a bit more, including paying the portion previously paid, but it will continue the same coverage that you already have.

Your employer sponsored health insurance continues for one billing period, usually 30 days, after your employment ends. During that time, you are free to switch to a different company. You can get free online health insurance quotes from this website, comparing your current coverage and costs to other leading insurance providers.

Another option for finding new insurance is to check with organizations you belong to, such as the AARP, Sam's Club, or AAA. These organizations make group health insurance available to their members, giving you an option for group health insurance that does not tie you directly to an employer. For people between jobs or in a fast-changing field, this choice could keep your coverage active for many years.

Answered January 31, 2014 by Anonymous

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