Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985, employees who lose health insurance by being fired, having their hours reduced, or other circumstances could extend their coverage by paying the portion of their monthly premium previously paid by their employer.
The American Rescue Plan, the stimulus bill approved by Congress earlier this year, provided subsidies that paid the premiums for individuals seeking COBRA continuation coverage.
However, those subsidies are set to end on Sept. 30. Covered California estimates that 138,000 people losing their subsidies are still eligible to enroll in a health plan and is offering those Californians the opportunity to switch to Covered California to keep their premiums low.
The special enrollment period for individuals using COBRA continuation coverage lasts from now until Nov. 29, though consumers who wish to switch to Covered California by Oct. 1 must sign up before the end of September.
Covered California is also offering special enrollment through the end of the year for currently uninsured Californians who could still benefit from low premiums under the ARP.
Interested residents can visit the Covered California website and learn more about their options or call 800-300-1506.
“As California continues to grapple with the pandemic and its financial fallout, many COBRA recipients will find that financial help is critical to keeping their coverage, and that’s what Covered California offers,” Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said in a statement. “There is more financial help available to Californians than ever before to help them get covered and stay covered.”