If You Lose Your Employment-Based Health Insurance: COBRA
If you lose your job (or your hours are reduced to the point where your employer no longer provides you with health coverage), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 ("COBRA") can provide a temporary extension of your health coverage for both you and your dependents. This federal statute allows individuals who are no longer eligible for group health coverage due to a qualifying event (such as the loss of a job) to purchase COBRA coverage for up to 18 months. In general, COBRA coverage requirements apply only to employers with 20 or more employees, and you typically have 60 days after your last day of coverage to sign up for COBRA. COBRA coverage costs will include your costs and the amount that was previously paid by your employer. This coverage can be expensive, but you should consider taking on this cost to avoid a lapse in coverage of more than 63 days to keep other protections when you join a new policy.
If coverage through employment is unavailable, the Affordable Care Act provides many other insurance options, which are outlined below.