Obamacare: taking COBRA or an exchange plan

If I get sick and can no longer work, can I get COBRA?


Dear Queasy,

During your sick leave, you will generally still be considered an employee.  The length of time that you will remain an employee varies by your employer’s own policy.  Therefore, COBRA would not be offered.  Once you are terminated, then COBRA would be offered if your employer is required to offer COBRA.  (Most employers are, but not all.)

Before you go to COBRA, think about an exchange plan.  If you earn less than 400% of Federal Poverty, then you can go to the insurance exchange and get government subsidies to pay for your health insurance.  This will likely be less expensive than your COBRA premiums.  However, the exchange plan may have lower coverage than your employer plan.  You will want to compare the two plans, taking into account the monthly premiums and your deductibles and co-pays.

Hope you are on the mend!

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.