5 tips to help employees maintain healthcare coverage after layoffs – Employee Benefit News

You’ve just been laid off. What happens to your healthcare coverage? 
It’s a question workers across the country have pondered in recent months — and more will undoubtedly have the same concern in 2023. Nearly 100,000 tech workers lost their jobs in mass industry layoffs throughout 2022, according to Crunchbase. Already this year, Amazon has announced plans to eliminate 18,000 jobs. Industries from manufacturing to financial institutions are feeling the economic crunch as well, with recent job cuts hitting Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. 
While the elimination of a regular paycheck is the obvious and primary concern following a job loss, figuring out how to continue and afford healthcare coverage is an additional stressor. In navigating healthcare options and regulations, workers often don’t know where to turn for guidance. 
“When people get laid off, they don’t really trust their employer anymore,” says Brian Lacher, VP of employee benefits at advisory Nielsen Benefits Group. “So when an employer then says, ‘Hey, here’s your health insurance option,’ they don’t really care. There’s a lot of frustration and sensitivity.”
Read more: Worried about a recession? Don’t turn to layoffs to stay above water
Benefit advisers are positioned to bring clarity and trust to this process, Lacher says, and he encourages workers to connect with brokers to understand all options available to them. Ask tough questions, get clarity on cost and coverage, and choose a healthcare plan that suits your needs, now. 
“Benefits are generally confusing, and when you don’t have the best support for questions around health insurance and COBRA, my heart goes out to people,” Lacher says. “If an employer is going to be generous and human about layoffs, they have a responsibility to help their employees understand what their options are, and to educate them about their broker resources.” 
Lacher spoke to EBN to share his insight and advice on how to proceed following a layoff — and how to make sure you’re accessing the right information, and making the right decisions around your healthcare. 
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