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.
California Department of Managed Health Care: HIPPA and Conversion Coverage
Individual Insurance Plans
While most health insurance is only available to employees through their employer’s group plans, there are a few insurance companies in California who offer coverage to individuals and their families...More
Healthy Families Program
The Healthy Families Program is a low-cost insurance program that provides health, dental and vision coverage to children who do not have insurance and do not qualify for no-cost Medi-Cal...More
Access for Infants and Mothers Program
The AIM program provides low-cost health care coverage for pregnant women and their newborns...More
Major Risk Medical Insurance Program
This innovative program was developed to provide health insurance for Californians who are unable to obtain coverage on the open market...More
CSEA offers insurance at a group rate
One of the benefits of CSEA membership is group-rate insurance plans. CSEA offers discounts on dental and vision policies, as well as life insurance...More
Get help with the cost of prescriptions
You can receive prescriptions for free or low-cost on an ongoing basis if your annual income is less than $41,600 for single people, $56,000 for couples or $84,800 for a family of four. Go to www.FreeMedicine.com