I missed open enrollment for my employer-sponsored coverage. Can I enroll through the exchange instead?
Yes, you can. Even if benefits are available to you at work, you can choose to purchase coverage off the exchange instead. However, unless you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP), you will need to wait until open enrollment at the end of the year in order to enroll. Events that qualify one for an SEP include marriage, having a child, the death of a spouse or dependent, and loss of eligibility for other coverage. If you do not qualify for an SEP, you can purchase short-term health insurance to tide you over until open enrollment begins.
It is also important to note that you may not be eligible for subsidies on the exchange if the benefits offered by your employer meet certain standards regarding affordability and services covered. Thus, purchasing a health plan through the exchange may be significantly more expensive than getting one from your employer. It is best to keep an eye out for the open enrollment period for your employer-sponsored coverage so you do not get stuck with prohibitively expensive coverage or a lack of coverage entirely.
Will being eligible for COBRA impact my eligibility for subsidies?