If you’re no longer eligible for Medi-Cal, visit remaincoveredca.com to understand your options.

Health Insurance For The Unemployed

Health Insurance Options If You Lose or Quit a Job


While ending a job can be one of the most difficult experiences anyone can face, it doesn’t have to mean losing health insurance coverage for you and your family. To protect your health during a coverage gap after leaving your job, you may be able to enroll in a health plan through Covered California, Medi-Cal, COBRA, or other flexible coverage options.

ACA Health Insurance Coverage If You Leave A Job


Whether you need health insurance after quitting a job or losing employment, Covered California has options. The Open Enrollment Period to sign up for health coverage through Covered California is November 1 through January 31. However, if you experience a job loss, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you qualify, you generally have 60 days before or 60 days following your loss of coverage to enroll in a new health plan.


Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you can compare and purchase health plans offered through Covered California. The cost of health insurance between jobs is based on the plan metal level, as well as your age, household income, and where you live. Additionally, you may qualify for a health insurance subsidy, which is financial help that lowers the cost of your monthly plan premium.


Benefits Of Marketplace Insurance Plans

  • Cover essential health benefits on all plans offered through Covered California, such as doctors’ services, hospital care, prescription drug coverage, and mental health services
  • Flexible plan options to fit specific needs and budget
  • Portable coverage so you can take your plan with you if you start a new job that doesn’t offer employer-sponsored health plans



Additional Financial Help During Unemployment Through The Inflation Reduction Act


The American Rescue Plan (ARPA) is a law signed in 2021 that provided additional financial help toward monthly premiums for ACA health insurance plans.


In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act extended the ARPA through 2025, which continues to make access to ACA health coverage more affordable for millions of Americans. In some instances, you may pay as low as $0 or $1 in monthly premiums for an Anthem individual and family ACA plan, depending on where you live.1 An estimated 9 out of 10 nationwide  qualify to receive financial help to lower the cost of their health plan.2



Understanding If You Qualify For Medi-Cal


Upon completing your ACA health plan application through Covered California, you may discover you qualify for Medi-Cal. Eligibility for Medi-Cal depends primarily on income, and for those who qualify, it provides free or low-cost health coverage for individuals, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, as well as those with disabilities.


Benefits Of Medi-Cal

  • Low to no-cost health coverage to individuals of all ages, regardless of health status
  • Covers many medical care expenses including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions
  • The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides comprehensive benefits to children



Extend Health Insurance Coverage With COBRA


Another option when you’ve lost your job might be to continue your health insurance coverage with your previous employer’s health insurance plan. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides a continuation of group health coverage to workers affected by job loss for up to 36 months.


COBRA eligibility is based on:


Your group health plan. The law typically applies to health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees, or by state and local governments. Some states also afford similar continuation coverage to individuals covered by group health plans sponsored by employers with fewer than 20 employees.


Your qualifying event. Qualifying events include reduction in your work hours or a job loss for any reason other than gross misconduct, which has caused you to lose your coverage. A qualifying event also determines who qualifies and how long your group health plan must offer COBRA.


Advantages Of COBRA

  • Maintains consistent health insurance coverage from your previous employer
  • Coverage up to 36 months
  • Provides coverage for reduced hours, as well as job loss

It is important to note that coverage with COBRA is often costly because your employer is no longer contributing to the cost of the health plan.



How To Get Health Insurance If You Lost Your Job


It’s important to remember that even if you quit or lose a job, you can still find and enroll in health coverage. With so many options, you may need help selecting a plan.


Anthem is here to help you choose a health insurance plan that fits your current situation and budget, so you can be confident that you and your family are covered and protected.

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1 Based on federal and/or state exchange requirements and subject to change. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and HealthKeepers, Inc. are Qualified Health Plan issuers that in certain geographic areas offers some health plans with a $0 or $1 premium option (after subsidy applied) through the Health Insurance Marketplace or your State Exchange. Health plans with a $0 or $1 premium option are not available in all areas and eligibility for these plans is based on federal annual income guidelines. Call us for information because not everyone will qualify.  For example, singles earning up to $20,385, and couples earning up to $27,465 may be eligible. Family income eligibility varies based on number of family members.


2  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report (2023): https://www.cms.gov/files/document/health-insurance-exchanges-2023-open-enrollment-report-final.pdf.