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.