Skip to main content

Retirement and Health Benefits During Unemployment

Health Insurance Medicaid & Medicare

This article provides information on protecting health and retirement benefits during unemployment

Learn more about your retirement and health benefits when you lose your job, what your options are, how to protect your benefits, and more.


What happens if I lose my job close to retirement?

If you lose your job close to retiring, you may be eligible to receive certain benefits depending on your circumstances. For example, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, health care coverage through the state's Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), SNAP food assistance, and other government assistance programs. Additionally, you may be eligible for financial assistance programs offered by the state or local government. Depending on your age and length of service, you may also be eligible for early retirement benefits from the Texas Public Retirement System


What happens to my health benefits?

If you lose your job-based health insurance, you have two main options. You can either enroll in a plan through the health insurance marketplace or sign up for COBRA coverage. 

To learn more about these options visit the website. 

Can I continue health coverage until I get another job?

It depends. You may be able to keep your job-based health plan through COBRA continuation coverage. To learn more about your options visit the website. 

Do I have access to my retirement funds?

If you have a 401k, you have several options. You can roll the money over to an IRA or a new employer’s 401k plan, take the money out, or leave it where it is. There are penalties for withdrawing money early so make sure to ask about any penalties if you plan to withdraw your money. 

Other plans are less likely to allow you to receive money early. Distribution may depend on your age or waiting period from the time you separated from your employment.  

How can I file for unemployment insurance?

You can file for unemployment insurance by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Where can I learn more about my retirement benefits and health coverage options if I lose my job or these benefits are no longer offered by my employer?

Visit Retirement and Health Care Coverage: Questions and Answers for Dislocated Workers to learn more about protecting your health and retirement benefits. 

Related Articles