Marketplace Health Insurance
A Lower Cost Alternative to COBRA
When you’re looking for coverage on Healthcare.gov or your local state exchange, there are a few ways to qualify for a low-cost health plan.
All subsidies are based on your annual Modified Adjusted Gross Income and household size. If your income falls between 100 or 133% (the states vary) and 400% of poverty, you might be eligible for assistance.
COBRA Coverage and the Marketplace
You may be offered COBRA coverage by your former workplace when you lose employer health insurance benefits.
- If you’re losing employer health insurance and have not enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage, you can apply and consider the option.
- If you do not want to enroll in COBRA, you can instead choose to sign up for a Marketplace health policy. As long as you’re within 60 days of losing your employer health plan, you can apply using the Special Enrollment Period that starts the day your prior coverage ends.
If you’re already using a COBRA health insurance policy, you may be able to switch to a Marketplace plan. You can apply when your COBRA is about to expire, which will grant you a Special Enrollment Period to apply on the exchange.
You can also apply during the annual Open Enrollment Period.
If you’re offered an employer health plan that’s too expensive, you can opt for Marketplace coverage instead. The plan must cost at least 9.5% of your income to qualify for this opportunity.
If you are offered COBRA health coverage by an employer and the premium rate is unaffordable, the same rules apply. You can always apply for Marketplace coverage in this instance, and you might be able to receive assistance with premium and out of pocket costs.