Options to Continue Coverage
If you lose your job-based health insurance, either because you lost your job or your employer drops coverage, you have 2 options for health insurance coverage. You can buy your own health insurance during a Special Enrollment period or you may be able to keep your health insurance for a limited time through COBRA. Remember, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), everyone is required to have health insurance. And, if you don’t have health insurance coverage, you will pay a penalty.
Buy a Plan on BlueCrossNEPAStore.com
If you involuntarily lost your coverage (for example, you lost your job) or your employer drops coverage, you can buy a Blue ACA Metal plan on BlueCrossNEPAStore.com. This is true even if you lose your coverage outside of the Open Enrollment period because you qualify for a Special Enrollment period. You may qualify for a federal premium tax credit and cost-share subsidy on the Marketplace at healthcare.gov to help pay for your health insurance.
If your income is less than the Federal Poverty Level, you and your family may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can connect to the Marketplace directly at healthcare.gov to see if you qualify.
If you have a spouse who is eligible for coverage through his/her job, you may be able to get coverage under that plan. Ask your spouse to check with his/her employer.
Keep in mind, if you voluntarily end your health insurance plan, lose your health insurance because you do not pay your monthly premium or lose coverage that is not “minimum essential coverage” you do not get a Special Enrollment period.
Continue Through COBRA Coverage
If you were employed by a company with 20 or more employees, the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) lets you to continue your health insurance coverage, at your expense, for up to 18 months. COBRA is available to you and your dependents upon notice from your previous employer. Under the federal law, you have 60 days to choose to continue coverage under your previous employer and then another 45 days to pay the retroactive premium. Please contact your previous employer for more information.
If you were employed by a company with 2 – 19 employees, Mini-COBRA applies to you. With Mini-COBRA, you are entitled to continue your health insurance coverage, at your expense, when you leave employment or when other qualifying events occur. You will have 30 days to accept the coverage from the date you are notified by your previous employer to elect continuation coverage. Coverage for you and your eligible family members will be effective the date of the qualifying event. And in certain cases, as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), “qualified” employees will also be eligible to receive a subsidy health care credit totaling 65% of the monthly premium for coverage. Please contact your previous employer for more information.
Choose Blue During Special Enrollment
When you choose Blue you get the largest network of providers, local knowledgeable customer service and valuable wellness programs. You can find more information about our new plans by visiting BlueCrossNEPAStore.com. To see if you qualify for a federal premium tax credit and cost-share subsidy, go to the Marketplace at healthcare.gov or we can connect you to the FFM—just click Apply for Federal Subsidy. If you don’t qualify, don’t worry—we have a wide selection of health insurance plans that are affordable even without a premium tax credit or cost-share subsidy. Start shopping today!
Want more information? Learn more about Special Enrollment. Or, find out How to Buy Health Insurance.
We are always here to answer your questions, just give us a call at 1.866.514.2454, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.