New Laws People with coverage through a job

If you lose job-based health insurance

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If you lose your job-based health insurance, you have 2 main options for health insurance coverage: a Marketplace plan or COBRA continuation coverage.

  • Get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Buy COBRA continuation coverage

Option 1: Get a Marketplace plan

If you leave your job for any reason and lose your job-based coverage, you can choose to buy coverage from the Marketplace. This is true even if you leave your job outside the annual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period. Losing job-based coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to buy insurance outside the regular Open Enrollment period.

Your coverage can take effect as soon as the first day of the month after you lose your insurance.

Option 2: Get COBRA coverage

You may be able to keep your job-based plan through COBRA continuation coverage. COBRA is a federal law that may let you pay to stay on your employee health insurance for a limited time (usually 18 months) after your job ends.

If you already have COBRA coverage, learn if you can switch from COBRA to a Marketplace health plan.

Get covered to avoid the penalty

If you don’t have qualifying health coverage for all or part of the year, you may have to pay a penalty.

This is true no matter what your employment status is.


Ready to obtain the right health insurance? Check your eligibility for free or low cost health insurance through the marketplace in 4 simple steps...