Health Insurance After Getting Laid Off vs. Quitting vs. Getting Fired

Scroll down a clear explanation of what the different types of job termination mean to your health insurance. Health insurance is sometimes protected temporarily by COBRA insurance, depending on whether you were laid off, quit your job, or were terminated by the company, but realize that health insurance after getting laid off vs. quitting vs. getting fired will be more expensive either way.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 22, 2020

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Health insurance is sometimes protected temporarily by COBRA insurance, depending on whether you were laid off, quit your job, or were terminated by the company.

Under all three, your coverage is probably going to cost you more, so it will be in your best interest to find another group plan as quickly as possible.

Here is a clear explanation of what the different types of job termination mean to your health insurance.

Voluntary Termination

If you say, “I quit!” then you have voluntarily terminated yourself. Job benefits can be terminated as early as the next billing cycle or paycheck. By quitting your job, you have given up the right
to use COBRA extensions for your insurance coverage and can be terminated from the health plan. How long your benefits will be available will depend on the processing of your cancellation. If
possible, it is much better to get fired than to quit your job, for many different reasons.

Involuntary Termination

If you were fired, your job-related benefits will be terminated at the next payroll processing. Where your health insurance is concerned, you will receive a notification from the health insurance
plan that explains how COBRA works and allowing you to continue your current health plan under the COBRA option. Keep in mind that COBRA has administration costs, and you will have to pay the full
premiums, including any portion previously paid by your employer. COBRA is meant to prevent you from suddenly losing access to health care, but it is not a form of insurance.

Insurance When You Are Laid Off

As with being involuntarily terminated, getting laid off means that your job-related benefits will come to an end. Being laid off is a better reason to put on future applications than being fired,
and it includes the ability to retain your current health coverage for up to 18 months with the COBRA plan.

Where to Find Group Health Insurance

Finding a new group plan should be your first priority. You can shop online for group coverage plans, or check with organizations that you belong to, including AAA andAARP. Even if you have preexisting conditions, the changes in health insurance law will require all group
plans to accept people with preexisting conditions by 2014.

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