If you’ve recently lost your job, you're probably very concerned about the loss of any employer-sponsored health care coverage.  Your coverage may end not only through a job loss, but also if your hours are reduced.   Relax, the good news is that you do have rights when it comes to health care coverae.

Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), you, your spouse and dependent children, might be able to purchase extended health coverage for up to 18 months. Individuals who qualify for Social Security disability benefits may be eligible to extend coverage for an additional 11 months. However, your employer is not required to pay your premiums - rather, you may pay the entire amount.

Are there any other options available?  You or your family may be eligible for private health insurance or perhaps even public health insurance, like Medicaid or the new State Children's Health Insurance Programs.  Also, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), if your spouse has a health plan, you may also be eligible to enroll in his or her plan.

Browse LawInfo's Free Legal Resource Center for more information about your rights and health insurance, particularly after a job loss.  If you believe your employer has wrongfully denied your health care coverage, or failed to follow the COBRA rules, contact an attorney in your are for more information about your legal rights.