[su_box title=”Keep in mind…” style=”default”]

  • The Marketplace offers subsidized coverage
  • COBRA insurance pros and cons
  • There are other options for insurance if you are unemployed


The security of having benefits while employed is a beautiful thing. However, layoffs happen, people quit, or other unforeseen circumstances wind up leaving people unemployed and uninsured.

If you have been fired, laid off, or quit your job, try not to get overwhelmed about your health insurance. It’s true there is a tax penalty for uninsured individuals now, but there are plenty of options available that can keep you covered and spare you from the penalty.

Research is essential as you want to have coverage as soon as possible for both personal and legal reasons.

Special Enrollment Period


Through the Obamacare Marketplace, you are eligible for emergency qualifications for 60 days through the special enrollment period. When applying through the Marketplace, you will have to explain that you are now unemployed and report your prior year’s earnings up until your working status changed.

By reporting unemployment status, you will qualify for modified adjusted gross income that will assist with the premium costs. If you obtain gainful employment, let the Marketplace know to make the cost adjustments. Also, be sure to advise if you are getting benefits through your new job so that you can drop unneeded insurance.

You then have the option of opting out employment-based insurance and keep your Marketplace or privatized choice.

Be aware that if you make enough income the same year as acquiring benefits, you may have to repay some of what the Marketplace deductions covered.

There is also something known as the Medicaid gap. The Medicaid gap is what the gap between state Medicaid eligibility, and Marketplace subsidy eligibility is found in state’s that have not expanded Medicaid benefits.



An alternate to the Marketplace or privatized health insurance, COBRA, is an insurance plan that is still employer-based but sometimes offered through COBRA continuation coverage. COBRA is a federal mandate that allows you to continue to be covered through your former employer. You will be responsible for all premiums and fees.

Your employer will have the COBRA information as well as application in your exit package. If they failed to advise you about the COBRA option, call your company’s human resource department.

The coverage is limited and by how much varies. However, when your COBRA either expires or you find better options in the Marketplace or private insurance agency. You can switch from COBRA to a Marketplace Health Plan

Other Options


By comparing and contrasting with questions and research, there are more options available. If you have a spouse or partner that has health insurance through their job, you legally have 30 days to be placed on their health policy.

Shop around and research. You may be able to find inexpensive coverage, especially compared to COBRA premiums. There are many ways to find private agents, the internet, yellow pages, or reliable online sources.

Also by law, preexisting conditions are no longer an instant disqualifier. Recent federal laws have made it difficult for health insurances to turn you down because of an ailment you already are suffering from. Thirty-five states have high-risk pools to protect people with previous illnesses.

If your lay-off or job loss affects your family’s coverage, be sure to check to see if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIPS. Both options will cover children living in households make minimal income. You may also qualify for Medicare if you are over 65 years old.

Things to Consider


Do you have a health fund or other savings to cover COBRA insurance premiums if you choose that route for a medical insurance policy?

How does your specific state handle the Marketplace and are you able to find the coverage you can both afford and covers what you require a health insurance policy to cover? Each state differs in many ways. Your state may only have one provider, for instance, in which case you may wish to continue your research.

Is it cheaper to find a single agent through garnering quotes and information? It is never a bad plan to at least gain knowledge to better compare your options.

You may find your health plan requires a one-on-one insurance agent or your health care nest egg can afford a privatized plan.

Which option is best for your overall health, including pre-existing conditions and does your choice cover any speciality doctors that you may be using?

Never stop asking questions. Your doctors, your insurance companies, and online resources are priceless when finding the best policy for your health insurance.

Regardless of if you quit your job or was laid off or fired, health insurance is attainable. Finding the best policy for you and your bank account may feel daunting, however there are multiple options that are easier to research than you believed.

Health insurance is not only important for your health and quality of life but it is now, a federal law or you will be fined.

Enter your zip below for free, personalized health insurance quotes that can keep you covered with and without a job.

[su_spoiler title=”References:” icon=”caret-square” style=”fancy” open=”yes”]

  1. http://obamacarefacts.com/special-enrollment-period/
  2. https://www.healthcare.gov/
  3. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj03eWhrrrQAhVFz1QKHQp4DNEQFgg5MAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fobamacarefacts.com%2Fmedicaid-gap%2F&usg=AFQjCNGVhl3TcgNMEhzO20cOjxGLhnod3Q&bvm=bv.139250283,d.amc
  4. http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm
  5. https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/cobra-coverage/
  6. http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm