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What can a consumer do when employer-based health coverage ends?

Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), a federal health law since 1986, when an employee and his or her dependents lose employer-based coverage they're still eligible to stay on their employer's group health plan, even though that coverage would otherwise end. COBRA does not apply to employers with fewer than 20 employees. In Nebraska, for those not eligible for COBRA, state law allows for continuation of coverage for 18 months.

However, COBRA and state continuation coverage can be expensive, since the former employer isn't required to pay any part of the premium. Those who have lost employer-based health coverage may be eligible to access new tax credits to buy a more affordable individual or family policy through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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