What can I do if my company drops my insurance before the new Marketplace opens?
The loss of job-based health insurance is considered a "qualifying life event." That allows you to buy insurance outside of the open enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.
To search for new insurance plans and learn if you qualify for a subsidy to lower your costs, go to Healthcare.gov.
Can I get on a government plan if I lose health insurance at work?
Yes, if you qualify. Government programs include:
Medicaid. You can get insurance through Medicaid if you have a low income or you're disabled. The rules vary by state.
To find out if you qualify and how to apply for Medicaid in your state, visit the insurance and coverage finder on the federal government's web site, HealthCare.gov. You can also visit the Medicaid web site.
CHIP. CHIP stands for Children's Health Insurance Program. Your kids can get insurance through CHIP if your income qualifies. It's meant for families that can't afford private health insurance but make too much money to get Medicaid. Whether you're eligible and how much you pay depends on the state you live in.
To find out about children's coverage programs in your state, visit the insurance and coverage finder on HealthCare.gov. You can also get more information on the federal government web site called InsureKidsNow.gov.
Medicare. If you're age 65 or older, you can get coverage from Medicare, the government health program for seniors. You can also get coverage from Medicare if you have a significant disability or have end-stage renal disease.
To find out if you qualify for Medicare, visit the Medicare eligibility calculator on Medicare.gov. You can also use the government's Medicare Plan Finder to get cost estimates and coverage information.