What Happens To Health Insurance When You Divorce?
Getting divorced can affect many aspects of your life, including your ability to keep your spouse’s health insurance. You need to understand what happens to health insurance when you divorce, especially if your health insurance is sponsored by your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s employer.
Contact an Orlando family lawyer if you are going through a divorce and want to keep your health insurance coverage that is available through your spouse’s plan.
Will You Lose Health Insurance During Your Divorce?
Not necessarily. If you rely on your spouse’s employer for your health insurance, you are unlikely to lose coverage as soon as you or your spouse files for divorce. In many divorce cases, the court requires the employed spouse to keep their spouse on their health insurance until the divorce is final.
However, once a divorce is finalized, you may no longer be eligible to continue receiving health insurance provided by your former spouse’s employer.
Will You Lose Health Insurance After Your Divorce?
There are ways you can remain on your ex-spouse’s employer-provided health insurance even after your divorce is finalized, though these solutions are often temporary.
There is a federal law – the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 – that allows employees and their dependents to keep health care coverage for up to 36 months after an event (e.g., divorce) that would otherwise end the coverage.
Under COBRA, insurance providers are required to provide eligible individuals with the same level of health insurance coverage they had during the marriage. Divorced spouses of those who receive employer-sponsored health insurance usually have 60 days from the date of the divorce to apply for COBRA coverage.
While it may seem that signing up for COBRA is the right decision, you should consider the downsides of COBRA-provided coverage:
- You will have to make the required premium payment to continue receiving health insurance through your former spouse’s employer (typically, dependents who qualify for COBRA benefits must pay a higher rate); and
- You will lose your COBRA-provided benefits when you remarry, even before the termination of your COBRA coverage.
However, there may be more cost-effective alternatives to COBRA coverage, which is why it is essential to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney. Your attorney can help you negotiate an agreement regarding health insurance with your spouse, such as requiring your soon-to-be-former spouse to pay for your health insurance either partially or in full after the divorce.
What Happens to Your Children’s Health Insurance After a Divorce?
If your divorce involves minor children, you need to understand whether or not your children will remain on your former spouse’s health insurance after the divorce is final. In many Florida divorces, the spouse who is ordered to pay child support is also required to pay for the children’s health insurance until they turn 18. Fla. Stat. § 61.13 provides that the payor can be required to pay for the child’s health insurance as long as it is “reasonable in cost and accessible to the child.”
Consult with our divorce attorney Rania Arwani to discuss your rights and options during divorce proceedings in Orlando. Schedule a free case evaluation by calling 407-254-0060.