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Health insurance after divorce: What you need to know

Couples going through a divorce in Michigan have numerous considerations to make, and health insurance does not always become a priority concern. However, a recent study found that one in four women insured through their husband ended up uninsured after a divorce, according to WebMD. It was not simply a temporary situation, either, as many stay that way for more than two years. There are a few ways that women could make sure that they have adequate coverage after they no longer are covered by their ex-spouse's insurance plan.

One option is to apply for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act coverage, also known as COBRA, which must be done within 60 days. COBRA typically provides coverage for an employee after he or she leaves a job under which the individual was insured. However, an individual might be eligible for it after a divorce. There are limits to this type of coverage, and it might be expensive since an individual must pay and administration fee on top of the full premium cost. A person only has up to 18 months under which COBRA coverage is valid. This option only applies when one spouse is included on another spouse's insurance through work.

Another way to gain health insurance after divorce is to add it as part of the negotiations for spousal support. Health insurance can be costly, especially when a person must buy an individual plan. Bringing up this expense during negotiations might provide one spouse additional financial benefits, such as an increase in spousal support or an increased share of marital property. There are other options for finding health insurance after a divorce, including finding employment with benefits, opting for Medicaid or signing up for an individual plan.

According to HealthCare.org, a life change like divorce might make one eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to buy insurance through the marketplace. It is important to know that if the previous insurance was handled through the state or federal marketplace as part of the Affordable Care Act, then one must report the divorce as a life change within 60 days.  

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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