Regs to clarify O-Care eligibility for people leaving jobs

The Obama administration proposed regulations Friday to clarify that people leaving a job may choose to purchase health coverage on ObamaCare's marketplaces rather than obtain it through COBRA.

COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, allows workers the right to continue their health benefits for a certain amount of time after leaving a job or undergoing other qualifying life changes.

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The administration argued that purchasing a private plan on the exchanges may be a cheaper alternative.

"In many cases, workers eligible for COBRA continuation coverage can save significant sums of money by instead purchasing health insurance through the marketplace,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi in a statement.

"COBRA continues to play an important role in helping workers and families maintain coverage after a job loss, and it is important that workers know that in some cases there is a marketplace option as well."

Friday's regulations from the Department of Labor would amend the notices people receive when they are eligible for COBRA coverage to include information about plans available under ObamaCare.

The department published related question-and-answer documents here and updated model notices here