During a divorce, many things change, and others are uncertain. Because many people are insured through their spouse’s plan, they may worry about what will happen to their insurance coverage during the divorce process and after the divorce is finalized. There are several options for getting insured during or after a divorce. You should anticipate the change in insurance and keep in mind that getting new insurance can take several weeks to process and begin. Allowing your insurance to lapse can cause additional complications such as large, unexpected medical bills, so plan ahead and be prepared.
Here are a few options to consider as you navigate changing your insurance coverage:
Shop For Insurance On the Exchange
Federal and state insurance marketplaces exist to offer essential health benefits that are affordable to people in a range of income levels. You can compare different plans based on their cost, benefits, etc. The websites are fairly easy to navigate and have helpful explanations to make sure you understand your options.
COBRA is a federal insurance program that allows insurance coverage to be extended for a limited period of time after a divorce from an insured spouse. You have at least 60 days to decide to enroll in COBRA (starting on the date you are notified that COBRA is an option, or the date you would lose coverage, whichever is later).
If you are approved to enroll in COBRA, you can continue the coverage for up to three years and keep the same benefits you had during your marriage. However, COBRA is expensive – you will pay the cost that your spouse previously paid, plus the portion covered by their employer.
Check for Insurance Through Your Employer
A divorce is a qualifying event that waives an enrollment period through an employer’s insurance plan. You may be able to get affordable insurance with comprehensive benefits via your employer, but not all employers provide health insurance options. Even among those employers who do provide health insurance, many of them only provide benefits to full-time employees. Contact your work’s Human Resources department for more information.
Ask Your Spouse to Keep You on Their Plan
If your divorce is amicable, you can ask your spouse to keep you on their plan until the divorce is final. Unfortunately, this decision is ultimately up to the insured spouse – they have the option to remove you from the plan even while the divorce is ongoing.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
There are many things to consider when getting divorced. A skilled Hinsdale, IL divorce attorney with Martoccio & Martoccio Family Law will help you understand how divorce can impact your insurance coverage, as well as other factors you need to take into consideration. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 630-920-8855.