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How divorce impacts healthcare insurance

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2022 | Family Law

A divorce ushers in a sometimes bewildering array of changes in your life. Keeping track of important changes such as making sure mail gets forwarded to updating your beneficiaries can seem like a full-time job.

One area you do not want to forget about involves your healthcare insurance. A wrong step here could cost you dearly.

Your healthcare insurance options

Forbes reminds everyone that health insurance typically comes from an employer-sponsored plan and this option does not allow coverage for a divorced spouse who does not work for that company. If this situation describes you, you could find yourself without health insurance after a divorce. You do have a few options to fill this sudden gap:

  • Invest in a temporary COBRA plan with your spouse’s insurer
  • Sign up for a plan under the Affordable Care Act
  • Sign up for a plan through your employer, if available
  • Invest in a short-term policy

The COBRA option does have some negatives, including a high cost and a time period usually limited to three years. The Affordable Care Act provides a solid option that did not exist prior to 2010. As a qualifying life change event, a divorce typically allows you to sign up right away if you have a health plan through work.

Your children’s healthcare options

The insurance world treats children better than ex-spouses, making it possible to continue their coverage after a divorce. Even if you receive primary custody of children, your former spouse could continue to retain healthcare insurance for the children under his or her employer-sponsored plan.

Spouses often negotiate who pays for healthcare insurance and how much after the divorce. Healthcare matters often involve a litany of complex considerations.