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Reasons People Don't Have Health Insurance Coverage

You Quit Your Job Or Were Fired

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Most people who lose their health insurance because their job terminates can extend coverage thanks to a federal law known as COBRA as well as similar state laws. The kicker is you have to pay up to 102% of the premium(the 2% is to cover your former employer's administrative costs.) COBRA coverage only exists for a limited period of time, minimum of 18 months.

At least COBRA coverage:

  • Will give you time to look around for a less expensive policy by looking at offsite linkand our article about how to find out about health coverage in your state
  • It will also give you time to obtain coverage through another employer.
  • Can reduce, or eliminate, the amount of time a new insurer can exclude coverage for a pre-existing health condition.

While you only have 60 days to elect COBRA coverage, you have up to 105 days after leaving your job to pay the first COBRA premium. Coverage will then be retroactive to the date the group coverage ended.

COBRA coverage tends to be a good deal if you're in poor health or live in a state with few choices or you want to stick with your current doctors.

If you have a spouse or significant other who has health insurance through work, your spouse likely has 30 days from the date you lose your health insurance to put you on his or her workplace policy even if the employer normally restricts mid-year sign-ups.

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