COBRA is a possibility if your son is currently covered by a group insurance plan that covers 20 or more employees. COBRA law allows the child to continue health benefits, but the employer no longer contributes toward the premium. The cost, which will be significantly higher, will be outlined in the employer's notice. Your son has 60 days to accept the COBRA continuation offer and make payment. Loss of dependent child status allows coverage to continue for 36 months.
Your son can also explore an individual insurance policy through Illinois' Health Insurance Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace has open enrollment each November, but your son is eligible for special enrollment because his group insurance is ending. He can apply for coverage through the Marketplace 60-days before and 60-days after the last day he is covered by group insurance. The Health Insurance Marketplace offers premium tax credits to subsidize the cost of insurance based on income and financial assets.
Be aware your son no longer qualifies for the Health Insurance Marketplace's special enrollment period if he elects COBRA. Losing health benefits due to cancellation for nonpayment is not a qualifying event. Individuals that lose health coverage because they do not pay the premium on time cannot get insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace until the next open enrollment period.
Is your son a college student? Many colleges and universities offer student health insurance plans to full-time students. Your son can contact a college official to find out if this is available, and discuss cost and coverage options.