People with coverage through a job

If you lose job-based health insurance

youtube thumbnail

2 options if you lose job-based coverage

If you lose your job-based health insurance, you have 2 main options:

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

Option 1: Get coverage through the Marketplace

If you leave your job for any reason and lose your job-based coverage, you can choose to buy a Marketplace plan. Losing job-based coverage is a qualifying life event that allows you to enroll in a plan with a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can buy insurance outside the annual Open Enrollment Period.

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

Option 2: Buy COBRA coverage

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 (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.