Some states have “mini COBRA” laws that require small employers to provide extended coverage, but the periods and events that allow you to qualify for it vary.
COBRA is an expensive prospect for many. Generally, you must pay the full premium – including the amount the employer covered when you were an employee – plus a 2% administration fee.
If you have less than 18 months until age 65, COBRA coverage will bring you up to Medicare eligibility, making it a relatively seamless choice if you can afford it. You generally have 60 days from the date you receive notice to elect COBRA or the date you lose coverage (whichever is later) to enroll. The cover is retroactive as long as you repay the premiums due.
Explore ACA plans. At www.healthcare.gov, you can apply for insurance through a marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act. These marketplace plans must cover essential benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, and preventive and wellness services. Plans cannot deny you coverage or charge you more if you have a pre-existing condition.
Marketplace plans often have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket limits than employer plans. Since market plan premiums are age-related, if you’re in your early 60s, you can expect at least a market premium to work.
You generally have 60 days from the time you lose employment-based coverage to enroll in a marketplace plan. Otherwise, you can register during Open Enrollment; For the 2023 plans, it is still in effect
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