What happens to your medical insurance if you lose your job?
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Asked June 22, 2010
There is no definite answer to whether you lose your health insurance coverage along with your job. There are a couple of factors that may make a difference, and the specific coverage, if it is extended, will be different from one insurance company to another, unless you qualify for a COBRA extension.
Many group insurance companies will extend you coverage to you even if you lose your job or change employer. You will lose the employer sponsored portion of the coverage, which means you must pay for the full policy out of pocket, but it is better than having no insurance at all. Contact your insurance company and discuss your situation with them. You are probably not the first person to experience this situation, and the insurance company may have a procedure in place to assist you.
Additionally, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, allows people who lose their jobs under certain circumstances to be entitled to extend their health insurance. COBRA allows you to continue to pay group rates rather than be responsible for the entire premium amount, and the coverage can be extended for as much as 36 months. Keep in mind, though, that you will still have to pay the entire premiums, including the portion that had been paid by your employer. This is still a lot less expensive than individual health care insurance, but will be more costly than what you paid as an active employee.
If you lose your insurance coverage and expect to start another job shortly with health insurance, you can also purchase a short term health insurance policy. These policies cover hospital care, surgery, and trauma, and are generally written for 3 to 6 month coverage with a single extension option. It is a basic form of health insurance, but may be suitable to keep your coverage active through a job transition.
Answered June 22, 2010 by Anonymous