Your health is your most important asset! Taking the proper steps to insure that you are covered by medical insurance after your divorce will help protect you.
If you were covered under your spouse’s employer, once the divorce is final you will need to obtain health insurance for yourself. It ismost important that there is not a gap in your medical coverage—so make sure you plan ahead.
If your spouse works for a company that employs 20 or more people, you are eligible to apply for continued health insurance coverage in this company’s plan under a Federal law known as “COBRA” (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). In order to be eligible for COBRA coverage, you must notify the health plan administrator of this plan within 60 days of becoming divorced.
Although this law can help if you have no alternative health care options, please consider the following:
- If you can obtain health insurance through your employer—this may be more cost-effective.
- Under COBRA, you will be responsible for the entire amount of the premium. This means the portion that your spouse’s employer is paying will no longer be deducted from your cost.
- Keep in mind that COBRA coverage ends in 36 months. If you have any preexisting conditions or become ill within this three-year period—you might find yourself uninsurable at the end of 36 months. You need to be prepared for this coverage to end and new health insurance to take its place after three years.
Keeping all this in mind, if you are not employed or your employer does not offer health benefits finding options that are less expensive and more permanent than the COBRA coverage may be beneficial. It can give your future health needs more stability as well as provide you with greater peace of mind.
Please discuss all your options with your divorce attorney, financial advisor and medical insurance specialist before you make any decisions.
Answers from AZ