Are you considering a job change or possibly working for yourself? Health insurance benefits and your cost share could play a large role in your decision. Here is what you need to know.
Due to the pandemic, people are rethinking their roles in the workplace. Many are leaving their jobs in search of more money, more flexibility, and less of a commute since the pandemic had them working remotely. With employees being asked to come back in to an office environment, a job change may be on their minds. If you decide it’s time to leave your current job, expect to lose your employer sponsored coverage. If you become self-employed or your new employer does not offer benefits, consider all your options to secure coverage at a price you can afford.
Coverage options may include:
Your spouse’s health insurance
Retiree health insurance benefits
Health Insurance Marketplace coverage with a subsidy
Private insurance without a subsidy
Short Term plans
Medicare (65 and older)
A licensed agent can help you compare your plan options to get the best coverage for your budget and time frame.
Depending on your income, subsidies may be available and can provide significant savings through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Due to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, premium tax credit subsidies were increased and extended to higher-income people who did not previously qualify.
If you are offered coverage through a spouse’s plan, you will likely not be eligible for the subsidy. In this case, compare your COBRA benefits with your spouse’s plan and private insurance plans. Other than premium costs, look at the differences in copays, deductibles and out of pocket maximums.
If you are healthy and other health insurance seems too costly, then you may choose to enroll in short term health coverage (Gap Coverage), especially if you will be eligible for your new employer’s benefits soon or you are close to age 65. However, short term health plans do not provide minimum essential benefits as required by the Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions are normally not covered, and you can be turned down based on your health history.
If you are eligible for Medicare and have not signed up, now is the time to do it through a special enrollment period. Discuss this with your current benefits manager. Since Medicare only covers about 80% of medical costs, you will need additional coverage from a private company.
Want to learn more about how you can switch jobs and maintain your health insurance? Reach out to the Health Plans agent on this webpage or click the button below.
Mary Page Troxler
Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn