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Maintaining health coverage without your job
If you lose your job or have your hours reduced, you don't have to lose your health benefits.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal law that applies to employers and group health plans that cover 20 or more employees. It lets you keep your group health insurance when your job ends or your hours are cut. You have to pay the premium, but you can keep your insurance for at least 18 months. 

Taking over the cost of your insurance premiums can be expensive. Fortunately, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has reduced COBRA premiums for certain individuals terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 by up to 65 percent.

If you leave your job or your hours are cut, you should receive a notice that says you can enroll in COBRA. Within 60 days of the date of the notice, you must notify the health plan in writing that you want to sign up. The health plan must then send you a notice that tells you how much the premium is and how to sign up.

If you are having trouble receiving the paperwork you need, call the California Department of Managed Health Care
Help Center at: (888) 466-2219.
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA allows people to buy individual health insurance when they lose their group health insurance, even if they have a pre-existing health condition. If you qualify, all health plans that sell individual plans must offer you health insurance. You cannot be denied insurance because of your medical history.

There are a few restrictions in order to qualify for HIPAA, including the requirement that you must have had health insurance for the last 18 months. Additionally, you must first use up all your Federal COBRA/Cal-COBRA before qualifying for HIPAA.
Learn more:
California Department of Managed Health Care: HIPPA and Conversion Coverage

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