Tips

A Guide To Health Insurance If You Lose Your Job

Mira Research Team25 Feb 2021

Quick Digest 

  • If you recently lost your job and became unemployed, you can either keep your current plan if you qualify for COBRA or purchase a new plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • If your income significantly decreased, you may qualify for Medicaid
  • A membership with Mira will give you access to low-cost urgent care visits and prescriptions for only $25-$45/month

When does your health insurance end if you lose or quit your job?

Regardless of whether you lose your job, get fired, or quit, employers decide how much longer to continue your health insurance coverage. 

They can decide to end it the day you leave your job or at the end of the month. You can contact your past employer's benefits administrator to learn more about how much longer your coverage will last. 

You will be eligible for a special enrollment period that generally lasts up to 60 days after the triggering event (like quitting your job). 

In this situation, you may be eligible for COBRA. Learn more below.

These are your health insurance options if you lose your job

If you lost your employer-based health insurance, you have a few options to get coverage. 

COBRA 

What is it? 

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives individuals and families the opportunity to continue to receive their employer-based health insurance for a finite period of time. Family members and yourself can stay on this plan and if you qualify for COBRA, you will likely be able to keep your plan for up to 18 months and in some cases even longer.

Who qualifies? 

You may qualify for COBRA if you recently quit your job, lost your job, or reduced the number of hours you work. COBRA only applies to private-sector or local/state government groups that have more than 20 employees. 

Will the price of my health insurance change? 

Unfortunately, if you decide to stay on your current health insurance plan, the price will most likely increase because your employer is no longer helping to pay for the plan. Therefore, you should compare the cost of your old plan with new plans for the insurance marketplace. 

To find out more about whether you qualify for COBRA, talk to your employer, go to askebsa.dol.gov or call 1-866-444-3272.

A Healthcare Marketplace Plan

What is it? 

If you lose your job, you can purchase a private insurance plan through the Healthcare Marketplace. 

Who qualifies for a marketplace plan? 

If you lose or quit your job, you will qualify for a special enrollment period. This enrollment period will give you 60 days to purchase a new health insurance plan for you and your dependents. If you miss this 60-day window, you will have to wait until the open enrollment period to sign up for a new plan. 

What type of plan should I get? 

Get healthcare for 80% less.

Mira helps you get healthcare services for up to 80% less than paying out of pocket or going through insurance. As seen on Forbes, Axios, and CNBC.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a new health insurance plan. Some important factors to consider are the monthly premium, deductible, co-pay, hospital coverage, urgent care coverage, and lab test coverage. It can also be beneficial to look up customer reviews to see people’s experience with the insurance provider. 

In our articles below, we compare some popular insurance plans and help you decide which is best. We organized these articles based on metal categories. Metal differ based on how much the insurance company pays and how much you pay at the time of care.  

Catastrophic Plans 

Bronze 

Silver 

Gold 

Mira

What is it? 

Mira is an affordable healthcare option for just $25- $45/mo and you get access to partnered urgent care centers with low-copays and prescription discounts.

Who qualifies for Mira? 

Anyone can use Mira. Mira is a great option for people who are uninsured, unemployed, or underinsured due to its low-cost and accessibility. The price is reliable and you will never receive a surprise bill. 

Supplemental or Short Term Marketplace Plans

What is it? 

Health insurance plans within the marketplace offer supplemental health insurance plans to assist you in paying medical costs and out-of-pocket expenses that often accompany these unexpected events. Aetna, United Healthcare, and other insurance companies offer these plans.

Who qualifies?

Introducing Mira

Imagine Costco but For Healthcare. $45/month. No catch.

Each plan may have different qualifications, but generally, this plan option may be a good fit for you if: 

  • Unable to apply for Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare, coverage because you missed Open Enrollment and you don't qualify for Special Enrollment
  • Waiting for your ACA coverage to start
  • Looking for coverage options to bridge you to Medicare
  • Turning 26 and coming off your parent's insurance
  • Between jobs or waiting for benefits to begin at your new job
  • Healthy and under 65

Can I Go On My Parents’ or Spouse's Health Insurance After Becoming Losing My Job?

Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you can continue to be covered by your parents’ health insurance until you are 26. 

In addition, if you live in New York State you may be eligible for “Age 29” Dependent Coverage Extension. You may qualify to stay on your parent's plan until age 29 if you meet the following criteria: 

  • Unmarried
  • 29 years old or younger
  • Not eligible for comprehensive health insurance from employer-based coverage
  • Live, work, or reside in NY state
  • Not covered by Medicare

If your spouse has coverage through their employer, it may be possible for you to be added to their plan outside the annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Ask your spouse to contact their company’s HR department to find out.

You might qualify for Medicaid if you have lost your job

Medicaid eligibility is determined by your monthly earnings; therefore, if you recently lost your job, you may now qualify for Medicaid coverage. 

You must currently be living in one of the 37 states that opted to expand Medicaid coverage and make less than 138% of the federal poverty level. 

To find out if you qualify for Medicaid, fill out this form on healthcare.gov. 

If you can't afford health insurance, you have several options

While unemployed, health insurance may not be affordable, but there are additional options if a comprehensive plan with subsidies, or short-term health insurance, is still unaffordable. 

Medicaid and CHIP programs are available in each state for individuals who cannot afford other health insurance. 

The eligibility for these programs will depend on the state you live in. Medicaid provides state-specific guidance after you enter your location.

You can also try Mira for just $45/mo, low co-pays, and no deductible. 

Sources: 

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-health-insurance/health-insurance-laws/what-is-cobra.html

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/health-insurance-for-unemployed

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/health-plans/cobra

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2020/coverage-options-laid-off-workers

https://www.healthmarkets.com/content/health-insurance-for-unemployed#Spouse%20or%20Parent%E2%80%99s%20Health%20Insurance%20Plan