As the entire country – and world – navigates the COVID-19  crisis, business owners, employees and their families are being forced to make difficult decisions when it comes to staffing and benefits. If an organization comes to the decision that temporary layoffs are needed, there are important resources and information to keep in mind for these employees and their families.

In the event of a layoff, an employee would face the following options for health care coverage:


First, employees will be offered the ability to continue their existing benefits package through COBRA. Through COBRA, the cost of the entire premium shifts to the individual and their family for any tier plan that the employee had in place. The total amount owed by the COBRA eligible subscriber will be 102% of the total monthly premium. A benefit of electing COBRA is that it’s a continuation of the exact plan that you had in place during employment. This means that if you have reached your deductible or out of pocket maximum, or are close to reaching either amount, it may be beneficial to pay the higher, upfront premium in order to keep the benefit that you are either receiving or close to receiving. One drawback of electing COBRA is the cost. The upfront monthly premium can be prohibitive to many Americans, especially those living paycheck to paycheck.

NY State of Health

Another option is enrolling in health insurance on the individual marketplace through the NY State of Health. Due to the loss of employer-sponsored coverage, individuals that experience a layoff will become eligible for enrollment through this platform. Based on their estimated Adjusted Gross Income for 2020, the size of their family, and the county of their residence, those affected may be eligible for a monthly tax credit that can reduce their monthly premium significantly. The loss of employment may also allow an individual and their family to be eligible for subsidized programs such as Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Health Plan. Medicaid and Child Health Plus provide full coverage for all medical and dental services. The Essential Health Plan allows an individual to access a plan with no deductible and low co-payments for $20 per month. These plans are available through the major health insurance carriers in your area of residence.

Finally, if an individual is laid off and their spouse is still offered coverage, this qualifying event would provide the couple/family the opportunity to join that employer’s coverage.

Here at Bond, we know that these uncertain times can cause stress and uneasiness for yourself, your family and your entire network of friends and loved ones. We are here as a resource to answer any questions you may have. Please stay safe and healthy during this time.

If you have any questions or would like to receive more information, contact Mark Shannon at