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How a Job Change Impacts Your Insurance Plan

Moving up the career ladder is exciting, especially if your new job comes with great benefits. But starting or leaving a job is a big life change—especially if it’s unexpected.  

Here’s the most important thing to keep in mind: You only have 60 days from the day you lose health insurance from an old job to sign up for new coverage. 

Also, you need to understand your rights as an employee. Your previous employer is required to tell you exactly when your coverage ends and your coverage options while you look for a new job. They must give you detailed information about their company-sponsored plans, what your premiums will be and the waiting period. You can get a overview of your rights from the U.S. Department of Labor [PDF] and the New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance 

Now let’s take a look at a few scenarios where a job change can impact your eligibility for health insurance and the types of coverage you can choose. 

I have a plan from BeWell but my eligibility might change—what should I do?

In most cases, a company-sponsored plan will be the most affordable because your new employer will pay a portion of the premiums.  

It’s a good idea to ask for this information before you accept a position or sign a contract. You don’t want to make health coverage decisions in a rush! You’ll want to look carefully through the Summary Plan Description (SPD) and the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). 

But what if the premiums for a company plan will be a hardship, or your family’s needs aren’t covered? You still have the option to decline coverage through your employer and stay with a BeWell plan. Our Certified Assisters have the expert knowledge to help you make the best decision. Call or chat with us today. 

I think I’m eligible for a health care marketplace plan—how do I get started?

Just connect with the Certified Assisters at BeWell! To get the basics, read through the facts about Special Enrollment—a time when you can sign up for insurance due to a life change, like switching jobs. 

Then contact us or schedule an appointment with us. We’ll guide you through the available plans, help estimate your premiums and calculate your potential money-saving tax credits. 

What happens if I have a gap before I start my new job?

Even when you’re between jobs, you can still get health coverage: 

  • You may qualify for interim coverage, like a COBRA plan. This option is named for the federal law that created it: Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Choosing the COBRA option often costs more than a traditional health insurance plan. 
  • If your spouse is covered by a employer-sponsored plan, they might be able to add you as a dependent under a special enrollment exception. 
  • You might be eligible for a marketplace plan through BeWell, Medicaid or another public health insurance option. 

Will a change in income affect my insurance coverage?

If you get a pay or a pay cut, update your BeWell application right away. 

If you don’t update, you may miss out on additional savings or pay money back when you file your taxes. A BeWell expert can help you run the numbers and recommend changes that will keep your family covered. 

I’m self-employed and my income fluctuates—is there a plan for me?

Eligibility for marketplace plans is based on income. When you apply for a health care marketplace plan as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to provide: 

  • Estimate of your expected annual income  
  • Number of people in your household and their incomes 
  • Other sources of income, such as tips, unemployment compensation and child support 

After the first year, you may have a better idea of your income stream and how it will affect your eligibility and taxes. A BeWell Certified Assister can help you estimate your premiums and available tax credits. 

We’re here to help

BeWell is the only marketplace in New Mexico that offers no-cost assistance with enrolling in health insurance. Schedule a one-on-one talk with a BeWell Certified Assister today. 

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