While Americans are now able to purchase health insurance benefits through the federal and state marketplaces, employers that lay off their workers still need to provide them with information on their health coverage options.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows employees to continue on their former employers’ plans if they pay their share of healthcare premiums. Those who lose that insurance need to be told by their former companies about their COBRA eligibility as well as the health insurance exchanges. Even though the marketplaces are now closed, Americans can still purchase health coverage if they have major life events that impact their insurance. The Journal noted this includes being laid off. The Obama administration recently clarified that employers must offer workers they’ve let go this information.
The Hill reported some actually consider buying a plan on the exchanges to be cheaper than remaining on COBRA or their former employers’ group health insurance. From being able to receive subsidies to generally more affordable premiums, marketplace-offered plans have many benefits. However, some of these plans have narrow networks, which may influence workers’ health insurance benefits decisions.