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I was just laid off and am looking to find out if my employer's group health plan will continue while I'm looking for work?

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There is no simple yes or no answer to your question without knowing more information. Typically, your health insurance coverage and all other company benefits will end either on the day you are laid off or on the final day of the month you are laid off. The reason for the difference is twofold: First, most employer sponsored health benefits are paid in advance, and secondly, health insurance is regulated by state laws, and it will depend on the laws of your state when your insurance will be terminated.

If you are laid off, your Human resource department should contact you with information on how you can opt into the COBRA plan. COBRA is designed to allow people who lose their jobs, even temporarily, to keep their insurance benefits. Under COBRA, you will have to pay the full premiums, even the portion previously paid by your employer, but your health insurance coverage will continue unchanged for up to 18 months. Keep in mind that COBRA is not meant to replace your insurance plan, only to allow you some time to find other options if you lose your job. COBRA is expensive because you have to pay the full benefits, and it usually entails some additional processing costs as well.

If you do elect to take COBRA, start looking for another group health insurance plan right away. Any group health plan will be less expensive than COBRA, and your COBRA plan can be easily transferred over to the new plan. Start shopping on this website by getting a health insurance quote. If you find the policy you need, you can go ahead and sign up on the spot to get your new health plan started as soon as possible.

Group health insurance is offered to members of many different organizations and clubs. AAA, AARP, and Sam's Club are all examples of places to look for group health coverage, but you may belong to other groups that offer it as well. These organization do not sell insurance, they simply use the buying power of large groups to leverage health insurance plans at affordable prices. You are not required to accept a group health plan offered in this way, but such plans are often a lot less expensive than if you bought a private insurance plan.

People with chronic or preexisting conditions have historically had problems getting health care as individuals. Starting in January of 2014, this will not be a problem any longer, thanks to changes made by the Affordable Care Act. This act, better known as Obamacare, prevents insurance companies from discriminating against applicants based on their current health, preexisting conditions or chronic care needs. Many insurance companies have already adopted the new regulations, so you can begin looking around now, and if you have any problems because of your health, rest assured that you will be able to get coverage in just a few more months.

answered Jun 3, 2013 by anonymous
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