Losing your job and the dental benefits that come with it is a stressful event. Whether you were terminated, you were laid off or you are leaving voluntarily, you still have to deal with significant financial issues that come with income insecurity. Now, you not only have to worry about your standard bills, but you also have to figure out a way to get health and dental insurance while you’re unemployed. Don’t panic though, because here are some health and dental insurance plan options you’ll want to know about in case you’re unexpectedly thrust into an unemployment situation.
As soon as you’ve lost your job, check out your current insurance benefits. Find out when your benefits get cut off. You may discover that your health and dental coverage continues through the end of the month. If that’s the case, make a dentist appointment while you still can, as every week of extra coverage matters.
Get COBRA Dental Insurance
COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It’s a way to continue to get health or dental insurance from your former employer. COBRA requires employers that have more than 20 employees to offer continued insurance coverage for 18 months after your last day on the job. This type of COBRA coverage is able to extend to you and your dependents. If the insurance provided by your employer includes vision and dental coverage, COBRA will cover the cost of those benefits as well. That’s the upside of the program.
The downside of COBRA is that under the current program, you as the former employee are now responsible for premiums - which can be quite costly. However, premiums cannot exceed the full cost of your coverage.
Common Questions about COBRA Dental Insurance
Does dental insurance fall under COBRA?
Yes. COBRA is a program that applies to dental, health and vision benefits. However, you will only be able to continue using the benefit plans that you enrolled in when you were still employed. If you did not enroll in dental benefits during your employment, you will not be able to get them from your employer post-termination.
Can you get COBRA for dental only?
It depends. Sometimes, dental benefit plans are bundled with health insurance plans. Meaning, instead of having a dental benefits provider and a health insurance provider, your benefits all come from the same place. If your dental is bundled with other benefits, you may not be able to continue with dental alone.
How long does dental under COBRA last?
COBRA dental coverage lasts 18 months from the date that you choose your coverage.How do I apply for dental coverage with COBRA?
Apply for dental through COBRA by visiting healthcare.gov. Here, you can also find out whether or not you qualify for Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), or a lower cost plan from COBRA.
Buy a Dental Insurance plan with no Waiting Period
If you’re in a pinch and need dental coverage right away, you can sign up online with Delta Dental and see your dentist immediately. We offer five unique and affordable dental plans with no waiting period. This means you can focus on the important things like finding a new job instead of worrying about your dental coverage.
Buy Dental Insurance on the Washington Benefits Exchange
The Washington Health Benefits Exchange is a key part of the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act creates a marketplace for each state to offer health and dental coverage to individuals and families. It’s an easily accessible, online marketplace where you can find, compare, and enroll in Qualified Health and Dental Plans. You can also get information on tax credits or financial aid to help cover your co-pays and premiums. And because losing your job is often considered a qualifying life event, you don’t have to worry about the annual enrollment period; you can enroll right away. Visit WAHBExchange.org or call 1-855-923-4633 to learn more.
Out of a job and need dental coverage? We offer 5 individual plans designed to meet any smile's needs or budget.
*This blog post updated in July 2019.