In the middle of a pandemic, preventing gaps in health insurance coverage is likely top of mind. For some, obtaining health insurance through COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, may be an option. If you lost your job and are already on a spouse’s plan, you probably don’t have to take any action. If you’re on a Marketplace plan, you may want to check if your change in income affects whether you will qualify for tax credits.

Principal Rachel Levy was quoted in a recent The Wall Street Journal article, “Here’s What to Know If You Must Sign Up for COBRA Health Insurance,” with important advice for those considering COBRA options.

If your company has under 20 employees, or if you work for a government or religious institution, COBRA likely doesn’t apply. Some states have laws similar to COBRA that are applicable to companies with under 20 employees, and other continuation of coverage laws may apply to government workers, said Levy.

“It’s possible that COBRA subsidies (in which the government would pick up part or all of all of the tab of your premiums) may be included in the next federal COVID-relief package,” she added.

And finally she noted that if you have a health savings account, or HSA, you may pay your COBRA premiums with pretax dollars from that account without penalty.

“If you’re worried that a new plan may not cover your medications or you don’t qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, you may wish to stay on your former employer’s plan through COBRA since it may be cheaper in the long run” Levy explained, “additionally, if you’ve already hit your deductible for the year, it may make financial sense.”

To read the article, click here.


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