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Many Americans receive insurance through their employer, which works out great. However, if there’s an unexpected job loss or change, it can be tricky to navigate changing insurance plans. When contemplating letting your insurance coverage lapse, don’t forget that the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act will be in place until 2019. So, if you’re uninsured for three consecutive months, you’ll have to pay $695 or 2.5% of household income, whichever is worth more.

Even without the individual mandate, most people feel uncomfortable with gaps in their insurance. So, if you’re making a job change here are your options for changing over your health insurance.

Step 1: Figuring out the gap in coverage.

Every employer is different when it comes to health insurance. Ask your previous employer when your insurance will end. Some companies will stop it immediately, while others will give you a couple of months of coverage after your employment period ends.

If you already have another job lined up, ask human resources when your coverage will begin. Once you know what your gap in coverage will be (if there is one), you can figure out how you want to handle it. If you’re unemployed, there are health insurance options for you, too.

Step 2: Decide how to bridge the gap.

For people that will face a gap in health care coverage, there are several programs that you can take advantage of to stay covered. So, don’t fret!

Go on your spouse’s plan.

If your spouse has good insurance, this might be the easiest way to fill your coverage gap. Even if it isn’t the open enrollment period, a job change, new marriage or childbirth will activate a special enrollment period in which you could add yourself to your spouse’s plan. This particular enrollment period allows you to stay in a group coverage plan, which is usually less expensive than other options. However, whether it’s a good option is entirely dependent on the quality of your spouse’s plan.

COBRA insurance.

If you worked for a company with more than 20 employees, you have the option to purchase a COBRA plan. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996 (COBRA) allows anyone who loses their job to buy coverage from the employer-based group plan. This is a reliable option for single people or people with dependents who want to stay on their old insurance plan until they find a new job. The only downside is that while your plan will remain the same, your rates will go up significantly.

Individual insurance and ACA Exchanges.

Individual insurance used to be unaffordable for the vast majority of Americans, but with the Affordable Care Act, premiums and deductibles have decreased significantly. The ACA also expanded access to individual plans; they used to only be for the young and healthy. Individual insurance can be purchased through the ACA exchange or in the private market. Individual plans have higher premiums and deductibles than employer-based coverage, but they are a good option for individuals who are self-employed, work for small companies, or are between jobs.

ACA coverage plans come in multiple levels, depending on how much you are willing to pay in premiums.

  • Bronze: Health plan pays 60% on average.
  • Silver: Health plan pays 70% on average.
  • Gold: Health plan pays 80% on average.
  • Platinum: Health plan pays 90% on average.

Short-term catastrophic plans.

These extraordinarily low-cost and basic coverage plans are a suitable option for whenever you are between jobs. These plans have substantial out-of-pocket costs and have basic coverage. They are only meant to prevent complete financial ruin from a severe illness or emergency while someone is between plans. Most people aren’t even eligible for these plans, as the plans are for people who are young and have few other options.

At Rico Aviation, we honor a commitment to keeping families safe and healthy. As a medical aviation provider, we pride ourselves on caring for your loved ones in emergencies. 


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