No one is safe from the ecocomic recession. Not even Pepper Potts. Although, it could not have been that long since Normal Osbourn took over as leader of H.A.M.M.E.R. and Dark Reign began. In Marvel time, it probably has not even been three months. So, couldn't have Pepper just applied for COBRA coverage? Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, individuals who lose their group health benefits should have the option to continue their coverage temporarily, for up to 18 months.
Maybe Pepper forgot to file a claim in time. Or maybe COBRA does not cover individuals who lose their jobs to former supervillains who fend off alien invasions and subsequently dissolve said individual's company.