While going through your divorce, any stress you experience may manifest physically through migraines, stomach aches, weight loss/gain and the like. You may schedule an appointment with your Virginia physician, but will your health insurance still cover you after your divorce?

WIFE.org can help answer this question. Take steps to protect your health and your finances by maintaining your medical insurance after divorce.

Look into COBRA

If you currently have coverage through your spouse and she or he works for a company that employs at least 20 people, you can apply for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act through her or his employer. While reduced COBRA plans for companies that have fewer than 20 employees exist, Virginia is not a state that offers one.

Time is of the essence

No matter what type of coverage you qualify for, it is best to act quickly. You have 60 days after being officially divorced to contact your spouse’s employer to sign up for COBRA. After 60 days, the health plan administrator has no legal obligation to cover you. Also, be sure to ask how long your COBRA coverage lasts. Usually, it is for 36 months.

Look to your own employer

Even with COBRA, you may not like the cost of premiums. You have to pay every penny of the premium amount yourself, which could be more expensive than if you enrolled in your employer’s health insurance coverage. Compare the cost and the coverage specifics to see which option makes more financial sense. While you are at it, check to see if your current physician is part of your employer’s HMO.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.