As your marriage began to crumble, you realized that you were no longer getting anything positive from your husband. You didn’t enjoy his company, you no longer shared any interests, and conversations often turned into fights. In the end, you found that the only good thing you were getting from your husband was access to his health insurance. In fact, for some women, losing access to a good health insurance plan is the thing that makes them stay in a marriage longer than they want to. Unfortunately, if your family’s health insurance is through your husband’s employer, you will lose coverage once you are divorced.
Keep Your Coverage for as Long as Possible
Because your coverage is provided as a spouse to the insured employee, your coverage ends when you are no longer a spouse. However, until the divorce is finalized, you have a right to remain on the insurance policy. Your husband cannot remove you from the policy or alter your coverage while you are legally still married. In the case of an amicable breakup where the uninsured spouse has a chronic condition or is in the middle of life-saving treatment, the couple might opt for a legal separation instead of divorce so that the spouse can retain insurance coverage. However, this is highly unusual.
What to Do About Health Insurance
Unless your ex-husband loses all parental rights, your children will continue to be covered by his policy, so you only have to worry about yourself. If you do not have a job that offers health insurance, your divorce attorney can discuss several options with you, including:
- COBRA. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) grants you the option to pay your portion of the insurance premium to remain on your husband’s insurance policy for a certain amount of time. While this can be very expensive, it is a way to ensure that there is no gap in coverage, and it might be possible to make your husband pay at least a portion of it as part of the divorce agreement.
- Affordable Care Act (ACA). While you might not have been eligible for health insurance through the ACA when you were married, you might qualify after your divorce. Your major life event (divorce) should allow you to enroll in a plan outside of the open enrollment period. Most plans are very affordable, and you can negotiate for alimony to help cover the cost.
- Medicaid. If your income is low enough, you might qualify for Medicaid benefits. If you do qualify for Medicaid, you cannot opt in to an ACA plan.
- Employment. If you were a stay-at-home mom before the divorce, it might be time to consider looking for a full-time job. Not only will it allow you a fresh start and additional income, but it will provide you with the essential health insurance coverage you need.
At Nathan Law Offices, we never want our clients to be taken by surprise by any outcome of a divorce. We will discuss your options for health insurance long before you are cut off by divorce.
Helping Marin County Women Through Divorce
Nathan Law Offices exclusively represent women in divorce, and we understand the need for a smooth transition to post-divorce life, including uninterrupted health insurance coverage. We will talk you through your options in our Marin County office. Call to find out how we can help you.