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What Should You Do About Health & Life Insurance When You Quit Your Job?

Life and health insurance that are obtained through your employer are group policies. These group policies often are cheaper than other policies you can buy privately. Since you will most likely lose your insurance when you leave your employer you need to know what to do about coverage once you quit.

Process

Before you quit your job, look for private life and health insurance. If your new employer does not offer group life and health insurance, you'll have to have a private policy if you want to maintain coverage. For life insurance, apply for a private policy with a new insurance carrier of your choice. For health insurance, you may apply for new benefits under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws or receive a continuation of coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). COBRA is a federal law that allows you to continue your group health insurance coverage if you leave your job or are terminated. This coverage lasts at least 18 months. HIPAA sets minimum standards in the health insurance industry in regards to health-insurance plan design and how medical information is obtained and used by doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.

Time Frame

You have 60 days to accept COBRA coverage after you receive notification from your health-plan administrator and 45 days to pay your first premium payment. If you are applying for new coverage under HIPAA, make sure you apply for and receive coverage within 63 days or you will have a lapse in coverage. Apply for life insurance benefits prior to canceling your old policy.

Benefits

The benefit of having private coverage is that you can take your health and life insurance with you, regardless of your job. You also get the peace of mind of knowing that your coverage will provide insurance benefits when you need them.

Warning

If you fail to obtain COBRA benefits within the 60 day time frame, you won't be eligible for COBRA benefits. When you apply for benefits under HIPAA, if you fail to get new insurance within 63 days of your old coverage canceling, any treatment you receive after 63 days and before your new policy begins will not be paid for under any health insurance plan. If you do not get life insurance prior to canceling your group coverage and you don't qualify for life insurance, your benefits are not payable if you die.

Considerations

Consider keeping your job if you cannot afford private insurance. You may be able to transfer to a new location, if possible, or move to a different position inside the company if you dislike your current job.



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