Employee’s eligible for Cobra can opt for “Marketplace coverage” instead of COBRA.
Employees and their families eligible for, but not enrolled in, COBRA continuation insurance are able to enroll in Marketplace coverage outside of the normal open enrollment period, in most cases. It’s very possible employees eligible for COBRA continuation coverage could save on their monthly health insurance premiums by purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace. (Most employers offer a two or three plan choices with one carrier while the Marketplace makes all options, insurance carriers and plan designs, available that are offered in the Exchange.)
Updates to model notices informing employees of their eligibility to continue health-care coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act are now available. The updates make it clear to workers that if they are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when leaving a job, they may choose to instead purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Employees and their families who are eligible for employer-sponsored coverage generally must be informed of their right to COBRA continuation coverage at the start of employment. They must also be informed of their right to purchase COBRA coverage when separating from a job. The proposed changes to the model notices would offer information on more affordable options available through the Marketplace, where workers and families may be eligible for financial assistance that would not otherwise be available for COBRA continuation coverage.