By Tami Luhby, Kathryn Vasel, CNN Business
Part of this story was included in a already published story which aired on CNN Business in November.
Workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers.
In November, 4.5 million people left their jobs, according to Labor Department data released earlier this week.
And they’re leaving for a variety of reasons: higher pay, better benefits, more flexible hours, more fulfilling work, new challenges – including starting their own business – and they’re even retiring earlier.
And while this is a hot market for job seekers right now, workers should consider the benefits they might forfeit when they leave their jobs.
One of the most important is employer sponsored health insurance.
“Most employees know their employers provide health insurance benefits, but they don’t always realize how much employers subsidize the costs,” Tami Simon, head of the company’s business advisory, told CNN Business Segal Benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about your health insurance options once you’ve quit.
Life after work: Continuing health insurance
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) typically requires employers with more than 20 workers to offer a temporary extension of health coverage to former employees, typically for up to 18 months.
“Employers sometimes subsidize the cost of COBRA, but most don’t,” Simon said. “And employers are allowed to charge up to 102% of the applicable premium for COBRA.”
She added that employers are required to provide a COBRA notice that details an employee’s rights and responsibilities, including coverage costs.
Keep in mind that workplace family health insurance costs workers and their employers more than $ 22,000 per year, on average, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey. The employee typically pays around $ 6,000 of the bill, while the company takes the rest. The average annual bonus for a single employee in 2021 exceeded $ 7,700 per year. The worker typically pays around $ 1,300 and the employer covers the remaining costs.
But under COBRA, workers are usually responsible for the entire tab.
(The federal government had provided a COBRA premium subsidy for those who involuntarily lost their jobs and work-based coverage, but this benefit expired at the end of September.)
Another option is to find coverage under the Affordable Care Act on Public Health Exchanges. You can consult the available plans on health care.gov.
Open enrollment for 2022 coverage extends through January 15 in most states. But those who lose their employment-based policies can enroll at any time of the year, typically within 60 days of their plan ending. The Biden administration has also made it easier to obtain coverage in 2022 through special enrollment periods.
Enrollers are eligible for more generous federal premium grants for 2022, as part of last year’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief program. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, four in five consumers can find a plan for $ 10 or less per month after federal help.
But without some kind of subsidy
– whether from the government or from an employer – to help pay for health insurance, buying it on your own can be quite expensive. So consider your options before making the decision to quit your job.
“[Health care] costs a lot more than people expect, ”Isabel Barrow, director of financial planning at Edelman Financial Engines, told CNN Business in November. “It’s really important that you consider this as part of your overall budget before you quit your job. “
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.