Health insurance is a big issue in divorces. Often one spouse has provided the health insurance for the other spouse. During the divorce process, this spouse will need to continue to provide the insurance until the divorce is final. Once a divorce is final, the spouse providing the health insurance will no longer be able to do so. Health insurance companies do not allow insurance to be extended to the divorced spouse. (There is no problem continuing insurance coverage for the children.)
Federal Law provides that when individuals lose their health insurance they are entitled to be covered under that health insurance plan for up to three years once they lose their coverage, including by divorce. This law is called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
Under COBRA the individual will be responsible for the insurance coverage up to 102% of the cost of the plan. Health insurance premiums through COBRA are usually extremely expensive. Many parties are unable to afford these premiums. However, this is an option for the spouse losing health insurance due to the divorce.
The area of health care law continues to change. It is worth looking into when you are going through a divorce. If health insurance is a big issue for you and your family, you may consider a legal separation. A legal separation may allow health insurance to be provided, even when the parties are living separate lives.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss insurance or any other issues related to your divorce.