Most people are aware that when a couple gets a divorce, they will need to reach a resolution on important issues including the division or marital property and the allocation of parental responsibilities. However, there are many other implications of the divorce process that may not be immediately apparent. One such issue is continued health insurance coverage for a spouse or child.
This issue is of particular relevance now, when many families are struggling with health problems related to COVID-19, or the risk of contracting the coronavirus. If you are concerned about losing access to affordable health care at a time when you need it most, you may have even decided to delay your divorce or pursue a legal separation while remaining legally married. However, it is important to know that if you decide to move forward with your divorce, there are options for maintaining coverage.
The Illinois Spousal Continuation Law
Under Illinois law, if you were covered under your spouse’s employer-sponsored health insurance plan during your marriage, you have the option to continue that coverage after your divorce. In order to do so, you must notify your spouse’s employer within 30 days of the divorce judgment, and once continued coverage is granted, you will also need to pay the full premium throughout the time you remain covered. If you are below the age of 55 at the time of the divorce, continued coverage can extend for a maximum of two years, whereas if you are retired or over the age of 55, coverage can continue up until the point at which you are eligible for Medicare.
Health Care Implications for Spousal Maintenance and Child Support
Aside from the possibility of spousal continuation, you may also be able to seek support for your health needs through spousal maintenance. The health of each party is an important factor that the court will consider when deciding whether maintenance is warranted, and if so, the payments you receive from your spouse can help you cover premium costs for continued coverage under his or her employer, or the costs of your own individual health insurance coverage.
If you have children under the age of 18, you may also receive child support payments from your former spouse after the divorce. When necessary, the court will factor a child’s extraordinary medical needs into the amount of child support ordered, and it may also order one or both parents to ensure that the child is covered under a parent’s health insurance policy and contribute to the payment of expenses for this policy.
Contact a Lombard Family Law Attorney
At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we understand that your health and that of your children may be a primary concern during your divorce, especially during a time of greater health risks. We can help you pursue spousal support, child support, and other options for keeping health insurance coverage and covering the costs of care. For a free initial consultation, contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer today at 630-473-9685.