Health insurance options after quitting a job


The resignation rate has increased at large organizations and small businesses, with more than 4.5 million workers quitting their jobs in November, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you recently left your employer — or are planning to — here are your options to make sure you have health insurance:

“It’s a three-pronged decision — spouse, ACA or COBRA,” says certified financial planner Carolyn McClanahan, who began her career as a physician and later founded Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Florida.

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She recommends making these considerations in reviewing your options. “It’s important to not only weigh the cost of the premiums, but the cost of the deductibles and copays and your underlying health condition,” said McClanahan, an M.D. and also a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council.

With COBRA, you can usually keep the same health-care providers, experts say, but you’ll have to pay more. You may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage — up to 102% of the cost to the plan. On the other hand, a new government report shows the majority of consumers enrolled in ACA coverage on HealthCare.gov have deductibles under $1,000.

Kyu Rhee, a primary care physician and chief medical officer at Aetna CVS Health, said to think about these criteria when evaluating marketplace plans.

“You want access to the 3 D’s: the doctors, the drugs and the diagnostics,” he said. “Leverage these exchanges to look at those high-quality plans aligned with your providers in an area that is affordable for you and your family.”

Still on the fence about which health insurance option to choose? Time may be running out.

If you go on COBRA coverage, you may not be able to switch to an ACA plan until the next open enrollment season begins in the fall, McClanahan said. Open enrollment season for 2022 ends Jan. 15 for coverage that will start on Feb. 1.

If you miss the 2022 deadline, you may still be able to get an ACA plan under certain conditions. If you or anyone in your household lost job-based coverage, or expects to, in the last 60 days, you may qualify for a “special enrollment period” to enroll in or change health plans. Go to healthcare.gov for more information.

If your COBRA coverage is running out or your COBRA costs change due to certain circumstances, you may also qualify for a special enrollment period to make a switch to an ACA plan. Check out your options. On the health insurance marketplace, “you may find a lower-cost plan that will let you keep the medical providers you want,” Rhee said.

Sticking with COBRA



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Health insurance options after quitting a job

2022-01-13 12:59:18

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