How Long Do I Have To Get Health Insurance After I Quit My Job?

Are you thinking of quitting your job and wondering how it will affect your health insurance coverage? The thought of losing access to healthcare can be daunting, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! With the Affordable Care Act in place, there are options available for individuals who find themselves without job-based health coverage.

In this blog post, we’ll answer the burning question: “How long do I have to get health insurance after I quit my job?” So sit back, relax and read on to learn about your options for securing healthcare coverage after leaving your job.

The Affordable Care Act and Job-Based Health Coverage

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was signed into law in March 2010. One of the main goals of the ACA is to make health insurance more accessible and affordable for all Americans.

Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more full-time employees are required to offer health insurance coverage to their employees or pay a penalty. This mandate is often referred to as the employer mandate.

However, even if you work for an employer that offers health insurance coverage, it may not always be affordable or comprehensive enough for your needs. In this case, you can choose to purchase individual healthcare plans through state-based marketplaces established under the ACA.

It’s important to note that if you do have job-based health coverage available to you and choose not to enroll in it, you may not qualify for subsidies on individual healthcare plans purchased through state marketplaces. Additionally, if your job-based coverage meets certain affordability and minimum value requirements set by the government, you won’t face any penalties under the individual mandate if you choose not to enroll in a marketplace plan.

Understanding how job-based health coverage fits into your overall healthcare strategy is crucial when considering options after quitting a job.

How Long You Have to Get Health Insurance After You Quit Your Job

After quitting your job, you may be wondering how long you have to get health insurance. The answer varies depending on the circumstances of your departure from your former employer.

If you had job-based health coverage before leaving your job, you typically have a 60-day special enrollment period to sign up for a new health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This window starts on the day that your previous job-based coverage ends or when you lose eligibility for it.

However, if you voluntarily quit your job without having another source of health coverage lined up, there is no guarantee that this special enrollment period will apply to you. In this case, it’s important to act quickly and explore all of your options for obtaining new coverage as soon as possible.

It’s worth noting that some states offer their own extended open enrollment periods outside of the federal marketplace’s annual open enrollment period. If available in your state, this could provide additional time to enroll in a new plan after losing job-based coverage.

It’s crucial to understand the timeline and rules around obtaining healthcare coverage after quitting a job so that you can avoid any lapses in coverage and protect yourself against unexpected medical expenses.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Health Insurance After Quitting Your Job?

When you quit your job, losing health insurance coverage can be a big concern. If you don’t get health insurance after quitting your job, there can be serious consequences.

Without health insurance coverage, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses which can quickly add up and become unaffordable. This includes routine doctor visits as well as unexpected emergencies.

If you remain uninsured for more than three months from the date of losing your job-based health coverage or the end of the month in which you left your job (whichever comes first), then you may face a tax penalty at the end of the year. The penalty is calculated based on either 2.5% of household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18 (up to a maximum of $2,085).

Being uninsured means that any pre-existing conditions may not be covered when seeking new insurance coverage later on.

It’s important to understand these potential consequences so that you can make an informed decision about getting healthcare coverage after quitting your job.

How to Get Health Insurance After Quitting Your Job

After quitting your job, there are several ways to get health insurance coverage. The most common options include enrolling in a spouse’s employer-sponsored plan, purchasing an individual policy from the Health Insurance Marketplace or obtaining coverage through COBRA continuation.

If you have a spouse who is currently employed and has access to health insurance benefits, consider joining their plan. This option may be cheaper than buying an individual policy on the marketplace.

Another possibility is purchasing health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can compare plans and premiums based on your specific needs and budget. Depending on your income level, you may even qualify for subsidies that could significantly reduce your monthly premium costs.

COBRA continuation allows employees to continue receiving group health benefits under their previous employer’s plan for up to 18 months after leaving their job. However, this option can be more expensive as individuals will need to pay the full cost of premiums plus administrative fees.

It’s important not to go without health insurance after quitting a job as unexpected medical expenses can quickly add up. Take time to research all available options before making a decision about which route is best for you.


It is crucial to understand the timeline and options available for obtaining health insurance after quitting your job. Remember that you generally have a limited amount of time to enroll in a new plan through the ACA or COBRA, so act quickly. If you miss these deadlines, you may face penalties or gaps in coverage.

However, quitting your job doesn’t necessarily mean losing access to healthcare altogether. You can explore other options like short-term health plans or enrolling in a spouse’s plan if applicable.

Staying informed about your healthcare options before leaving your job can help ensure a smooth transition and avoid any unexpected costs down the road.