Whether your divorce was inevitable or came as a total surprise, you probably have questions about health insurance coverage. Medical care is expensive, and insurance is a necessity. In a divorce, many people panic over how to maintain health insurance coverage, especially if they relied on coverage from their former spouse's employer. Additional questions may arise if the couple has children.
Your Georgia family law attorney can help you find a solution that works best for your individual situation. However, there are some basic principles that apply to nearly every divorce.
Can an ex-spouse provide health insurance for the former spouse?
Divorce ends coverage under a spouse's employer-sponsored health insurance plan. The spouse with employer-sponsored health insurance retains his or her coverage, but the ex-spouse loses coverage.
In this case, COBRA can be a good short-term option. Temporary COBRA coverage lasts for up to 36 months. For the best coverage, the non-employee spouse should apply for an individual health insurance plan as soon as practical.
Does a legal separation allow spouses to remain under the same health insurance plan?
Couples may opt for legal separation in hopes of keeping health insurance. While this strategy works with certain health insurance companies, other companies place legal separation and divorce under the same umbrella. For maximum protection, follow the insurance company's guidelines.
Definitely ask the insurance company about their divorce policy. In some cases, insurers have been known to sue divorced couples for fraud when a divorce is not reported in a timely manner.
Who will pay for the children's health insurance?
In most cases, the divorce agreement will state which spouse is responsible for providing the children's insurance coverage. Employer-sponsored coverage for children can continue after a divorce, even if the non-custodial parent is the one with insurance. Additionally, affordable federal programs and private family coverage plans are also available.