Lost Your Job or Your Insurance Due to COVID-19? Why You Should Report Changes to the Marketplace

Have you or someone in your family lost a job? Have you lost your employer-sponsored health insurance?

Triage Cancer has crucial information about your health insurance options, including shopping for a health insurance plan in the State Health Insurance Marketplace. To understand all of your options and pick the right option for you and your family, read our Quick Guide to Options When Losing Employer-Sponsored Coverage.

You may also be eligible for financial help to buy health insurance through the Marketplace, based on your income level.

Do you have a Marketplace Plan, but have had a change in your income?

If you have Marketplace coverage and your income has changed for any reason, it is always a good idea to update your application as soon as possible. You may qualify for additional savings and lower monthly premiums. You might even qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Here is a summary of possible steps to take, depending on your situation:


Possible Action
You have lost a job-based health plan in the last 60 days, or you expect to lose coverage in the next 60 daysYou may qualify for Special Enrollment Period to buy a Marketplace Plan. If you haven’t lost coverage yet, but expect to, you can submit an application on www.HealthCare.gov ahead of time to avoid a gap in coverage.
Your employer reduced your hours and you’re enrolled in a Marketplace planUpdate your application within 30 days to report any household income changes. You may qualify for more financial help than you’re getting now. To learn how to report changes, click here.
You were furloughedYou may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, as well as financial help to buy a Marketplace plan. Create an account or log in to start your Marketplace application and find out if you qualify.
You lost your job, but since your former job didn’t offer coverage, you didn’t lose health coverageMost likely, you won’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Job loss (or a change in income) alone usually doesn’t make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
Your COBRA coverage is endingYou may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and financial help to buy a Marketplace plan. To enroll in Marketplace coverage, you must apply within 60 days after your loss of COBRA coverage.
You can’t pay premiums due to a COVID-19-related financial hardshipAsk your insurance company to extend your premium payment deadline, or to delay terminating your coverage. If you are not receiving financial assistance for these premiums, you might already have a grace period determined by state law (usually one month). If you are receiving financial assistance, you have a three-month grace period before your coverage is terminated.
Your child is now living with you because their college sent them home early, and you are not enrolled in a Marketplace planIf your child is still enrolled in a student health plan that counts as qualifying health coverage, but the benefits don’t extend to your area, he or she will likely qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Your child is also likely to qualify if they had qualifying health coverage or lived in a foreign country/U.S. territory for at least one of the 60 days before their move.
Your child is now living with you because their college sent them home early, and you are enrolled in Marketplace coverageThe above information still applies, but if your child is under 26, you can probably add them to your plan. However, if you do not plan to claim your child as a tax dependent on your federal tax return, your child should apply for their own Marketplace plan and may qualify for financial help. Your child may also qualify for Medicaid.


Changes You Are Required to Report to the Marketplace if You Have a Marketplace Plan:

  • Changes to your expected income
  • Changes in health coverage
  • Changes to your house hold or individual members (for example, a birth or adoption, marriage or divorce, or a death)
  • Corrections to name, date of birth, or Social Security number
  • Changes in status (including disability, tax filing, or citizenship status)

How to Update Your Account:


For more information on reporting changes to the Marketplace: 


For more information about navigating health insurance, visit https://TriageCancer.org/HealthInsurance.

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