Health Insurance That Covers Pre-Existing Conditions After Loss Of Employer Health Plan
If you are looking for pre-existing condition coverage, your options for obtaining new Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans are either COBRA or through the health marketplace.
Affordable Care Act
Obamacare Marketplace Insurance
Another option to find new ACA certified health insurance is through “the marketplace”. By using websites like HealthSherpa, individuals may compare a variety plans and enroll online.
One major medical insurance option is to continue your most recent employer health plan. The continuation of employer-sponsored health insurance is known as COBRA and is the same medical plan you had, but now are responsible for the full premium.
When you stay on your plan, your insurance deductibles roll over where you left off. You may continue on your COBRA plan for a limited amount of time. COBRA is available only to workers who’s employer have 20 or more full-time employees.
Differences Between the Affordable Care Act and COBRA
Affordable Care Act and COBRA serve different needs and are suitable for different circumstances. ACA plans, also known as Obamacare, are generally more flexible and may be more affordable, especially for those who qualify for subsidies. Whereas COBRA allows you to maintain your existing coverage but can be more costly. Both options have specific eligibility criteria and enrollment periods that must be adhered to.
Below is a comparison between these types of coverage.
- Obamacare: Open to U.S. citizens and legal residents who do not have access to affordable health insurance through an employer or a government program like Medicaid.
- COBRA: Available to employees who have lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in work hours, as well as their dependents.
- Obamacare: Coverage lasts as long as you continue to pay your premiums and meet eligibility criteria.
- COBRA: Coverage generally lasts for 18 months, although it can be extended up to 36 months in certain situations.
- Obamacare: Premiums vary based on income, and subsidies are available for those who qualify.
- COBRA: Typically more expensive, as you pay both the employer and employee portions of the premium, plus an administrative fee.
- Obamacare: Enrollment is limited to the annual Open Enrollment Period or a Special Enrollment Period triggered by a qualifying life event.
- COBRA: Enrollment must occur within 60 days of losing employer-sponsored insurance.
- Obamacare: Offers a range of plans with varying levels of coverage and cost, from Bronze to Platinum.
- COBRA: Continues your existing employer-sponsored plan, with the same benefits and network of providers.
- Obamacare: Provider network depends on the plan you choose.
- COBRA: Maintains the same provider network as your previous employer-sponsored plan.
Subsidies and Tax Credits
- Obamacare: Eligible individuals may receive subsidies or tax credits to offset the cost of premiums.
- COBRA: No subsidies or tax credits are available.
- Obamacare: Coverage is not tied to employment and can be maintained if you change jobs.
- COBRA: Coverage ends if you find new employment that offers health insurance.
- Obamacare: Application is through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state exchanges.
- COBRA: Application is through your former employer’s human resources department.
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