How to Get Health Insurance After a Divorce
Perhaps the most difficult type of insurance to hash out is health insurance, since it can determine an ex-spouse’s ability to obtain affordable medical care.
One upside, is that getting divorced is considered a Qualifying Event for Healthcare.gov Marketplace Health Insurance, so you can sign up for a major medical plan any time within the first 60 days after your divorce in finalized. At this point it's important to compare rates and health plan options carefully.
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Children cannot be kicked off a parent’s health insurance plan because of divorce, thanks to a 1993 amendment to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Typically, health insurance for the children is assigned to one of the parents, with the other parent paying a portion of it. If both ex-spouses have health insurance through an employer, they might compare the policies and have the children assigned to the better one.
One Spouse without Insurance
The biggest challenge typically occurs when one spouse does not have employer-based health insurance and, as a result of the divorce, must find an insurer to cover him/herself. In some cases, insurers will stop the coverage of a spouse if the couple is legally separated, so couples should get it in writing that the spouse still will be covered during a separation.
What Are My Health Insurance Options?
Short-term Health Insurance
If you're not ready to purchase a complete major medical health insurance plan, you can still get health insurance. Short-term health insurance plans cover in case of an emergency very affordably for a shorter period of time, typically up to 12 months. These plans are MUCH more affordable than COBRA but may not cover a lot of preventative care or preclude you from a penalty.Compare Short-term Health Insurance Plans
Marketplace Health Insurance
Divorce is a Qualifying Event, you are eligible to purchase a Healthcare.gov Marketplace Health Insurance plan outside of open enrollment. You have 60 days from the time you get divorced to purchase and compare health insurance plans. You can even use a subsidy if you qualify for one.Check Your Eligibility for a Health Insurance Subsidy
COBRA Health Insurance
One option that can be used in this situation is the Federal Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. Under the law, group plans offered by employers with at least 20 workers must allow the ex-spouse of a covered employee to continue health coverage. However, the employer doesn’t have to subsidize any of the cost and COBRA can be VERY expensive and is always temporary.Compare COBRA Rates Now
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