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What becomes of my health insurance when I divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Divorce |

Divorce has a way of shaking things up. It may force you to run out and search for a new home, take on a new job, or step up the hours you work or restructure your schedule to accommodate a custodial arrangement. 

One detail divorcing spouses seldom think about is what happens when a couple divorces and one spouse is covered under the other’s insurance plan. Private insurance can be costly if a spouse doesn’t receive insurance from their employer.

What are your coverage options if you lose your insurance?

The Employees Retirement System of Texas outlines how divorce is a qualifying life event as far as benefits such as health insurance are concerned. You will likely no longer qualify for health care coverage under your ex-spouse’s medical plan once the divorce is final. 

You must provide evidence of their divorce within 31 days of their divorce to qualify to join your own employer’s medical plan outside of any “open season” 

There’s also the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This federal law allows a person to remain on their former spouse’s health insurance plan for up to 36 months. You would be responsible for paying your full monthly premium, though, and the cost for the insurance may be more than what it was pre-divorce. Insurance may be more affordable under the Affordable Care Act.

How to proceed if you’re divorcing and concerned about losing health insurance

Figuring out what to do for health insurance as you return to being single. Not properly planning for your health insurance needs after your divorce could lead to some dire financial consequences, so keep this issue in mind as you negotiate or mediate your marital divide