Here are some tips from me and CMS. If you lose your employer coverage, immediately explore the coverage available to you on your ACA exchange. This will provide choices in coverage and possibly a premium subsidy.
If you lose job-based health insurance, you have 2 main options:
Buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace or
Sign up for COBRA coverage in your employer plan.
Option 1: Buy a health plan through the Marketplace
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.
Your coverage can start the first day of the month after you lose your insurance. [Typical your lost coverage will continue to the end of the month your job terminates.]
When you fill out a Marketplace application, you’ll find out if you qualify for savings on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs based on your income.
You’ll also learn if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage from Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Create an account to apply any time.
Or, before logging in you can preview plans and estimated prices for a Marketplace plan based on your income.
Option 2: Sign up for 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 after your job ends (usually 18 months). You pay the full premium yourself, plus a small administrative fee. [In many, if not most cases, this coverage will cost more than a plan on an exchange. Especially if you are eligible for a subsidy.]
To learn about your COBRA options, contact your employer. You should receive a notice from your employer and if you act as required coverage can be retroactive.
If you’ve already signed up for COBRA coverage, find out if you can switch from COBRA to a Marketplace health plan.