Please read the below information that was sent to me from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana regarding the Affrodable Care act and COBRA.
"Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), COBRA employers are now able to offer employees and former employees an alternative to COBRA.
Most employees on group health plans with 20 lives or more are eligible for COBRA when they lose group coverage due to a "qualifying event," such as being terminated or having their hours reduced. Now, under the ACA, these employees are eligible for a special enrollment period, which may enable them to apply for individual healthcare coverage on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace.
The COBRA employer still has an obligation to provide the employee with the legally-required COBRA notices in a timely manner. But now the employer must also provide information about the Federally Facilitated Marketplace.
In many cases, policies available through the Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov will be more attractive and affordable than COBRA, especially if a departing employee is eligible for a government tax credit. This means former employees may benefit from what could be a smaller premium on the Marketplace, instead of paying up to 102% of their group premiums under COBRA.
Please note that outside of open enrollment, a special enrollment period will not be triggered if an individual voluntarily ends their COBRA coverage. This means that an individual currently on COBRA must wait until the next open enrollment period to shop and apply for a plan on the Marketplace. However, if COBRA coverage ends outside of open enrollment, that individual then qualifies for a special enrollment period. Visit www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i-currently-have-cobra-coverage/ for more information."