The quit rate has increased in large organizations and small businesses, with more than 4.5 million workers leaving their jobs in November, according to the most recent data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you’ve recently left your employer – or are considering doing so – here are your options for making sure you have health insurance:
“It’s a three-part decision: spouse, ACA or COBRA,” said chartered financial planner Carolyn McClanahan, who began her career as a physician and then founded Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Florida.
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“It’s important to weigh not only the cost of premiums, but also the cost of deductibles and co-payments and your underlying health,” said McClanahan, who is also a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council.
With COBRA, you can usually keep the same healthcare providers, experts say, but expect to pay more for the coverage. You may have to pay the full premium – up to 102% of the cost of the plan.
On the flip side, a new government report shows that the majority of consumers enrolled for ACA coverage on HealthCare.gov have deductibles below $ 1,000.
Dr Kyu Rhee, primary care physician and chief medical officer at Aetna CVS Health, said people should consider the “3 Ds: doctors, drugs and diagnoses” before deciding on coverage.
“Leverage that conversation to look at these high-quality plans aligned with your vendors in an area that is affordable to you and your family,” he said.
Still not sure which option to choose? Be careful, time is a factor and it can work against you.
If you go for COBRA coverage, you may not be able to switch to an ACA plan until the next fall open enrollment season begins, McClanahan said. The open enrollment season for 2022 ends January 15 for coverage that begins February 1.
If you exceed the 2022 deadline, however, you can still subscribe to an ACA plan under certain conditions. If you or someone in your household has lost employment-based coverage, or if you expect it, you may be eligible for a “special enrollment period”. Visit Healthcare.gov for more information.
If your COBRA coverage runs out or your COBRA costs change due to certain circumstances, you may also be eligible for a special enrollment period to switch to an ACA plan. Check out your options in the medicare market and “you might find a lower cost plan that will allow you to keep the healthcare providers you want,” Rhee said.
Stay with COBRA