“Great Resignation” Health Insurance Options After Leaving a Job

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

If you’ve recently left your employer or are planning to, here are your options for ensuring you have health insurance:

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

Learn more about Investing in You:
How to Convince Your Employer to Help You Repay Your Student Loans
Here are the best jobs in the US – and how to land them
No emergency savings? New benefits aim to help

“It’s important not only to weigh the cost of premiums, but also the cost of deductibles and copayments and your underlying health condition,” said McClanahan, who is also a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council.

With COBRA, you can usually keep the same healthcare providers, experts say, but expect to pay more for coverage. You may be required to pay the full premium — up to 102% of the cost of the plan.

On the other hand, a new government report shows that the majority of consumers enrolled in ACA coverage on HealthCare.gov have deductibles under $1,000.

Dr. Kyu Rhee, primary care physician and chief medical officer at Aetna CVS Health, said people should consider the “3 Ds: doctors, drugs and diagnoses” before deciding on coverage.

“Take advantage of these exchanges to review these high-quality, vendor-aligned plans in an area that’s affordable for you and your family,” he said.

Still not sure which option to choose? Be careful, time is a factor and it can work against you.

If you opt for 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. The open enrollment season for 2022 ends January 15 for coverage beginning February 1.

If you miss the 2022 deadline, however, you can still get an ACA plan under certain conditions. If you or a member of your household have lost employment-based coverage, or plan to do so, you may be eligible forspecial registration period.” Go to health.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 upgrade to an ACA plan. Learn about your options in the health insurance market, and “you might find a lower-cost plan that lets you keep the medical providers you want,” Rhee said.

Stick with COBRA

About Evelyn C. Heim

Check Also

What percentage of your salary should you spend on life and health insurance premiums?

Given the vagaries of life and health, insurance is a must in everyone’s financial plan. …