If you lose job-based health insurance, you have 2 main options:
If you leave your job for any reason and lose your job-based insurance, you can buy a Marketplace plan. Losing job-based coverage, even if you quit or get fired, qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can buy insurance outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period.
You can also apply for coverage any time during Open Enrollment, which lasts until January 31, 2017.
Your coverage can start the first day of the month after you lose your insurance.
You may be able to keep your job-based health 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 after your job ends (usually 18 months). You pay the full premium yourself, plus a small administrative fee.
This is true no matter what your employment status is.
No. Marketplace plans take effect the first day of the month after your job-based insurance ends. So if you lose your insurance plan on March 7 and select a Marketplace plan by March 31, coverage can start April 1.
If you’re uninsured for two consecutive months or less, you don’t have to pay the penalty. This is called the “short coverage gap” exemption.
You may be asked to provide proof that you lost insurance through your job. Your eligibility notice will explain how to verify your loss of coverage. The Marketplace may also contact you directly.
Yes. Savings on a Marketplace plan are based on your estimate of income for everyone in your tax household for the full calendar year you want coverage. Learn how to estimate your yearly income.
Yes. But if you’re offered coverage through your spouse’s job, you aren’t eligible for premium tax credits or other savings on a Marketplace plan – even if you don’t accept the offer.
You can buy a Marketplace plan to provide coverage until your new job-based insurance starts. Until then, you can qualify for savings on a Marketplace plan based on your income.
As long as you don’t have another offer of qualifying health coverage, you can enroll in a Marketplace plan and may be eligible for premium tax credits and other savings based on your income.