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What can I do if my child lost employer-sponsored health coverage?

First, if it has been less than 63 days since your child lost employer-sponsored coverage and you are insured through a company employing more than 20 people, your child should be eligible for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage. COBRA permits some employees and their dependents, in some circumstances, to continue on an employer's group health plan even after coverage would otherwise end.

Second, if you worked for an employer with less than 20 employees your child may be eligible for state continuation coverage. State continuation coverage refers to a right, enacted in 41 states, for some employees and/or their dependents that have lost job-based health insurance to continue existing group health insurance.

Third, in many states, your child has a right, when leaving a fully insured group health plan, to convert their coverage to an individual policy. This is called conversion coverage. To qualify for a conversion policy in most states, your child must have had a certain amount of time during which they were covered under a group policy such as a parent's job-based coverage or COBRA. Contact the office of your state insurance commissioner for more information.

Fourth, no matter how long it has been since your child lost health insurance coverage, they may be eligible for a guaranteed-issue individual policy. Health insurance companies in some states require policies to be offered to all people, regardless of their health status. To find out if your state has guaranteed-issue policies, please contact the office of your state insurance commissioner.

Finally, your state may have a high-risk pool that your child can purchase an individual policy through.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.