H-1B workers who are laid off may be entitled to COBRA benefits, which allow an employee who was working for an insured employer group of 20 or more employees to purchase health insurance for up to 18 months after losing their job.
Department of Labor regulations require employers to offer the same benefits to H-1B workers as those offered to similarly employed U.S. workers. This includes insurance plans and means that any employer required to provide COBRA benefits to U.S. workers because it has more than 20 employees must also offer those benefits to terminated H-1B workers.
The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) notes that many laid-off H-1B workers do not know they are entitled to COBRA benefits or may be afraid to ask. ABIL recommends that they consult an experienced insurance agent to learn about their rights.