Divorce and Health Insurance Considerations to Make
Are you currently going through the divorce process? It's a difficult time and health insurance is usually the last thing on your mind. However, it's something that needs to be addressed by both parties, as the policies are typically provided by one person for the entire family through their job. After the settlement, the employer-based option will no longer be available for the employee's ex-wife or husband. Obviously, this creates a difficult situation for the individual without the policy. If you're finding yourself in similar circumstances right now, you'll want to read these important questions and answers.
Questions You Need to Ask
Can I stay on my spouses' employment-based program after we've divorced? Unfortunately, there are few, if any, circumstances that allow you to remain on your spouses' employment-based program after divorce except COBRA. You may want to explore options under COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), which allows you to stay on your spouses' plan, but only for a maximum of 36 months and at a much higher rate.
What are my options after I've been divorced? You can possibly remain on your spouses' policy under COBRA, but it does expire in 36 months or if you remarry before then. Perhaps the best option involves obtaining a medical benefit from your own job, if it is available. If not, you may try asking for some type of coverage in your settlement. If that too is not possible, your last option is purchasing your own benefits plan. Many people cannot afford the same type of coverage they had under an employment based program, but it's better than nothing.
How do I apply for COBRA coverage? In most cases, you simply need to inform your spouses' plan administrator within sixty days of the settlement. After those sixty days, you cannot receive COBRA at all.
What about our children? If you have children under your spouses' employment based policy, they can typically remain on that plan or switch to a different plan. It's usually a decision worked out between both parties.