Up till now I've been paying for my own insurance as my employer did not offer it. I was paying $500 / Month which was not ideal but manageable while I was working ( my employer did not cover me ). I just found out I'm losing my job in 2 weeks, and I'm not going to have enough income to pay the $500. Can I change my insurance to a subsidized insurance until I am able to get insurance through an employer again? If my income goes from $60k to $0k, what do I put down for my income? Is it based on my previous income or future income?

  • 3
    You don't apply for "Obamacare". You apply for health insurance. Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Yes. While there are the normal annual enrollment periods, you are also granted a "special enrollment period" triggered by certain "qualifying life events." You'll typically have 60 days to make your election once you lose your prior coverage or have a different life event that would allow you to make a change.

Some common qialifying life events are:

  • Loss of health coverage

    • Job loss
    • Insurance company failure
    • Losing medicaid (or similar) eligibility
    • Turning age 26 (removal from parent's coverage)
  • Marriage

  • Divorce
  • Childbirth/adoption
  • Change in home address (coverage may only apply to certain counties or zip codes, if you move out of the coverage area you get a special enrollment period)

You should go to www.healthcare.gov and see what your options are using you new expected annual income after the job loss. Good luck!

  • I did some research, the thing that seems unclear is the following, Making 70k a year, I would get no help, I already paid for my own insurance for half the year. Now my AGI will go from 70k to 15k ( unemployment ). So which would I report when I give them my expected AGI when re-applying.... 15k? or 47k ( 6 months of 70k and 6 months of 15k ) I want to be honest, but it's unclear if they want the expected income for a year following when you apply, or the actual tax year.
    – user379468
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:42
  • Are you expecting to be unemployed for an extended period of time? The market is pretty good right now for engineers.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:47
  • ok I found the answer to that too "Yes. Savings on a Marketplace plan are based on your estimate of income for everyone in your tax household for the full calendar year you want coverage." but that seems unfair .... I 've already paid a bunch for insurance, and now that I don't have a job my concern is affording rent, food, and insurance. I didn't save up extra money for health .....
    – user379468
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:47
  • @PeteB. I certainly hope not, but I'm just trying to plan, I really wasn't expecting this .... the company went out of business
    – user379468
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:48
  • 3
    You would report your expected total annual income for this year. When you file taxes one of the things you will report is the amount of subsidy you've received, if your income changes such that your subsidy would have been different that will all shake out when you file your taxes.
    – quid
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:56

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