If my employer offers me COBRA health insurance coverage can I enroll in a ACA exchange plan instead?

Workers who lose their health benefits through employment can generally continue them using COBRA coverage for a period of time. However, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there may be a better and for many, a less costly way to obtain health insurance.

The Obama Administration has announced the rules linking COBRA coverage and the Affordable Care Act.

Bottom line; if you lose your employer-sponsored health insurance, check out your ACA Exchange before enrolling in COBRA. ‼️PASS IT ON‼️

From CMS press release:

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration today announced updates to model notices informing workers of their eligibility to continue health-care coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The updates make it clear to workers that if they are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when leaving a job, they may choose to instead purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

“In many cases, workers eligible for COBRA continuation coverage can save significant sums of money by instead purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi. “COBRA continues to play an important role in helping workers and families maintain coverage after a job loss, and it is important that workers know that in some cases there is a Marketplace option as well.”

Workers and their families who are eligible for employer-sponsored coverage generally must be informed of their right to COBRA continuation coverage at the start of employment. They must also be informed of their right to purchase COBRA coverage when separating from a job. The proposed changes to the model notices would offer information on more affordable options available through the Marketplace, where workers and families may be eligible for financial assistance that would not otherwise be available for COBRA continuation coverage. In most cases, workers and their families eligible for, but not enrolled in, COBRA continuation coverage would be able to enroll in Marketplace coverage outside of the normal open enrollment period.

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