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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

If Your Workplace Drops Your Health Insurance: FAQ

If your employer drops your health coverage or you lose your job, you have options for finding new insurance. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Can I sign up for COBRA if my employer stops offering health insurance?

No. COBRA is a law that lets you keep your company's health insurance if you lose your job. If you still have your job but your company drops insurance coverage, COBRA does not apply. You would need to find a new policy, which you can do  through the Marketplaces offered under the Affordable Care Act.

COBRA also won't help if you lost your job because your company went bankrupt.

If I lose my job can COBRA help me keep insurance?

Yes. The law known as COBRA lets you keep the health plan you had through your job if you're laid off. In most cases you can keep it for 18 months.

Insurance through COBRA can be expensive. That's because while you were working, your employer was paying part of your premium . Now that you're out of work, you have to pay the whole premium yourself. You will also have to pay an administrative fee that adds to the cost. 

If I lose insurance at my job, can I get on my spouse's health plan?

If your spouse has insurance through an employer, you might be able to get on his or her policy.

Usually employees can only add a spouse or child to a health plan during a few weeks in the year known as open enrollment. But exceptions are made when a family situation changes, such as when a spouse loses health insurance. Ask your spouse to check with a human resources representative at his or her workplace.

If I lose my job or my workplace drops my insurance, can I get health coverage through my state's Marketplace?

Most likely yes. You can shop for insurance online through the Marketplace. 

If you need assistance, you can call a toll-free number to get your questions answered. You can also ask for face-to-face help in your area. To find a location near you, go to localhelp.healthcare.gov.

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