The state of healthcare is uncertain, and difficult to understand. If you have medical coverage, consider yourself lucky. But, also consider what may happen if your coverage is provided for by your spouse’s employer, and you are in the middle of a divorce. You might wonder if your coverage continues, for how long, and the specific benefits. Your concern about healthcare coverage is a very valid concern in the instance of divorce.
Because you are likely to lose coverage if your ex-spouse’s employer provided it, it is imperative to know your healthcare options during divorce:
● COBRA: this insurance is temporary and is meant to bridge the gap between losing coverage, and obtaining new coverage. While not ideal due to typically higher than normal premiums, COBRA coverage is an option.
● Your employer: it may be that during your marriage you simply opted out of your own employer’s plan, and the enrollment period has not yet come around again at the time of your divorce. No need to worry, most plans allow you to begin coverage due to a “qualifying event”. Divorce is most often defined by the policy as a qualifying event, and your plan administrator can help you contact the insurance company to begin coverage through your employer.
● Continued coverage from your ex: while not the most desirable option, it is possible to request continued coverage be awarded you in the divorce decree. If you are successful in this request, your ex-spouse will be required to continue to carry you on his/her policy after the divorce is final.
Each of these options contains a financial component. COBRA is costly, switching to your employer’s coverage and continuing to be covered by your ex all come at a cost. The cost associated with healthcare coverage, and who provides it is something to address in your case. The final resolution reached must be included in the divorce decree, and should be set forth with specificity so the parties are clear on their rights and obligations.
For questions about healthcare after divorce, call an experienced family law attorney for help. We examine your needs and create a plan that meets those needs. Call today to schedule an appointment.