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What Divorce Means for Your Health Insurance

 Posted on December 09, 2016 in Divorce

Lombard family law attorneyMany people going through a divorce are worried about what will happen to their health insurance. This is a valid concern because there are not always many good options, regardless of a person’s marital status.

Typically, insurance is provided through an individual’s employer. When one spouse has both spouses on his or her health insurance through an employer and then the spouses divorce, that often leaves one spouse without any coverage whatsoever. Such a situation could be the result of that spouse being unemployed, staying home to take care of children, or working for an employer that does not offer health insurance coverage.

Why Does the Spouse Get Dropped?

Under the terms of most medical insurance policies, ex-spouses are not eligible to be covered. As soon as the divorce is final, the insurance policy will no longer cover the spouse. It is not typically the court’s decision or the ex-spouse’s refusal to continue coverage.

What Are Your Options for Insurance?

Uncovered spouses have a few options. Ideally, a recently divorced spouse would be eligible to pick up the health coverage offered by his or her own employer. If this is not possible, the Affordable Care Act (the ACA or Obamacare) has enabled insurance exchanges where non-employer-based policies can be purchased. Another option is COBRA insurance, which allows for a continuation of your old coverage for up to 36 months. This insurance tends to be very expensive. Part of the reason for the expense is that the employer is no longer paying the portion it previously paid.

An insurance policy bought on the ACA exchanges may be cheaper than a COBRA policy. In addition, the ACA policy will remain in effect as long as premiums are paid. On the other hand, COBRA insurance has the advantage of providing continuous coverage. The same doctors covered under your old plan will be covered under your COBRA plan. By law, however, COBRA cannot be in place for more than 36 months, even if the covered individual can afford the premiums.

What Can a Lawyer Do to Help?

A family law attorney can help in a number of ways regarding insurance coverage. A lawyer will see to it that your concerns are brought up and resolved in the best way possible. One way health insurance issues are resolved is for the court to order the insured spouse to pay for the other spouse’s insurance premiums through a maintenance or other financial award. Given the requirement in the ACA that all adults carry some type of health insurance coverage, this issue should not be taken lightly or put off until the last minute.

If you have questions about maintaining insurance coverage during and after your divorce, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. Call A. Traub & Associates today to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team today.



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