Unique Sets of Challenges
Divorce creates a set of challenges for both parties after the process is finished. One issue that may not be at the forefront of one’s mind but is of great importance is the issue of health insurance coverage. In many cases, one spouse puts the other on his or her employer-provided plan. What happens to that plan after the divorce is finalized? What are the options for those who lose their coverage?
Oftentimes a divorce agreement will include an extension of health insurance for the person that would normally lose coverage when the divorce is final. This period of time can vary depending on the divorce agreement.
Those individuals who are losing a spouse’s coverage after a divorce have the option to apply for up to 3 years of the same employer coverage through COBRA. Individuals have up to 60 days to fill out the application, after which no COBRA coverage can be obtained. The downside to COBRA is the cost; both the full premium as well as a fee must be paid in order to maintain this coverage.
Health Insurance Marketplace
Losing coverage due to a divorce enables a person to enroll in a plan under the Affordable Care Act. When the divorce is finalized, a person then enters a 60-day special enrollment period that allows him or her to research plans through federal or state marketplaces. If this period passes and no coverage is purchased, then the person searching for a plan must wait for the annual open enrollment period before choosing a plan.
What About Children?
If a custodial parent of a child loses insurance coverage, a judge may mandate that the noncustodial parent continue to pay for that child’s health insurance. This follows the principle of doing what is in the best interest of the child.
If you are afraid of what might happen to your health insurance coverage after your divorce, seek out a team that can help you understand your options and fight for your right to coverage in your case.
The team at Verner Brumley Mueller Parker is committed to delivering results for our clients. Call today at (214) 225-6766 to meet with one of our Texas divorce attorneys and discuss your case.