Over 90% of Americans with dental insurance are covered by their employer or another group program. So what happens to your coverage once you leave your position?
In some cases, you could be eligible to keep your employer-sponsored health and dental coverage after you leave your job.
Your options might depend on whether you were a full- or part-time employee, how you left your job, and how much time has passed since you left.
And private health and dental insurance is always a way to ensure you and your family receives the coverage you need once you leave your job.
Here are all your options for health and dental coverage once you leave your job.
When you leave your job, your company may offer a severance package that includes compensation, and the continuation of certain benefits. This could include health and dental care.
A severance package is not a legally required policy for any company. But for full-time and senior-level employees, many companies offer severance packages with extended benefits that may include a group health insurance program.
Even if you were laid off or fired, you may be able to negotiate a severance package that includes health and dental coverage.
Depending on your state, the W.A.R.N. Act mandates that if your company has over 100 people and is preparing to lay off a sizeable amount of employees, your employer is required to give you a 60-day notice.
If your employer fails to give you the required notice, you’re legally entitled to severance pay.
Full- or Part-Time Eligibility
Continuing your employer’s health or dental coverage may depend on whether you were a full- or part-time employee at your previous workplace, and if you were eligible for health and dental coverage while you were employed.
Some employers offer part-time employees a reduced-benefits package, which can include health and dental insurance coverage.
Other employers may only offer part-time employees legally required benefits, such as workers’ compensation insurance, social security or short-term disability insurance.
If you qualified for health-insurance through your old employer, you may qualify for COBRA once you leave.
COBRA Continuation Coverage
COBRA continuation coverage allows you to continue your previous employer’s health insurance for 18–36 months while you look for a new position.
With COBRA you’ll pay group rates for your insurance plan without your employer’s contribution, which can be pricey.
You can also switch to private insurance from your COBRA plan at any time.
If you’re not eligible to extend your previous employer’s health and dental benefits after you leave your job, you and your family may be eligible for coverage through Medicaid.
Over 49.6 million Americans receive dental benefits through public programs like Medicaid.
Each state determines the dental benefits that are provided to Medicaid enrollees. Although most states provide emergency dental services for adults enrolled in Medicaid, less than 25 states currently provide full dental coverage.
Financial eligibility for Medicaid is based on your family’s Modified Adjusted Gross Income rules.
If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, dental schools, non-profit organizations and charities can help you save on dental care, too.
Find Your Own Plan
If you do qualify for health and dental coverage through your old employer, it still may not be the best plan option for your budget and personal needs.
From coverage features to out-of-pocket expenses, exploring private insurance options can help you find a plan that’s catered to your needs and budget.