12 Aug Health Insurance After Divorce
If you are going through a divorce you are experiencing firsthand emotional and financial turmoil. The last thing on your mind might be health insurance. However, ignoring this detail could cause more issues later.
You can keep your insurance after your divorce if you have your own coverage, either through your employer or an individual policy. However, if you are a dependent on your spouse’s policy you will not be allowed to stay on that policy as a dependent once the divorce is final.
If you fall into the dependent category there are a few choices available to you.
- You can acquire coverage from your employer if they offer health benefits. Divorce is considered a qualified life event, so coverage is available outside of the open enrollment timeframe.
- You can purchase an individual policy from a trusted insurance agent.
- If eligible, you can enroll in your state’s health insurance marketplace.
- You are allowed to stay on your ex-spouse’s plan but you will pay for the entire premium yourself. This is the COBRA insurance option. The law allows you to buy coverage for no longer than 36 months from the final divorce date. At this time you will need to find new health insurance to replace it. This option is available if your spouse is employed by a company with 20 or more employees. If they work for a smaller company you may be eligible for mini-COBRA coverage in your state. It’s very important that you notify the health plan provider within 60 days of the finalized divorce if you intend to continue coverage, or you will not be eligible to receive COBRA. If you have COBRA questions talk with a trusted insurance agent or the human resources director at your spouse’s place of employment.
Finally, remember that it is very important to avoid gaps in your health insurance coverage so address this early in negotiations.
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Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your medical professional or legal representative for information specific to your needs.