Losing group health insurance + need options

COBRA s one option to consider. Employers that provide health coverage to 20 or more workers are subject to COBRA, a federal law. COBRA allows covered employees, spouses, former souses, dependent children, and in some cases adult children to remain on the employer-sponsored plan. Coverage typically lasts 18 months, but there are exceptions. The employer must provide written notice of your COBRA continuation rights. You have 60 days to accept the offer, and are responsible for the entire cost (there is no employer contribution) plus a two percent administrative charge.

In addition, Illinois has a state continuation law similar o COBRA. The state law allows 12 months of coverage in most cases, and applies to employer insurance plans without regard to group size.

Are you married? Coverage may be available through a working spouse's group health plan. You qualify for special enrollment because you are losing job-sponsored coverage, but must be added within 30 days. After 30 days you must wait for the next open enrollment period.

An individual health insurance policy through Illinois Healthcare Marketplace is another possibility. The Marketplace has an annual open enrollment period, usually November15 to February 15. However, individuals losing employer-sponsored health coverage can enroll midterm if they sign up within 60 days. Illinois Healthcare Marketplace offers an internet portal and in-person assistance to help people explore health plans from multiple carriers, find out if they qualify for tax subsidiaries, or enroll in Medicaid.

You can also contact a local health insurance agent to learn more about buying individual policy. Insurers offer a variety of coverage options with varying deductible, provider networks, pricing, and more..