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Reviewing COBRA coverage requirements

Most in Clinton Township do not need to be told that healthcare can be costly. Fortunately, many are able to shoulder the burden of those costs thanks to the financial assistance offered through their insurance providers. According to information shared by the U.S. Census Bureau, over 67 percent of those who carry health insurance in American are covered by private plans. Of those beneficiaries, 56 percent obtain their coverage through their employers. What happens, then, when a couple divorces and one spouse is no longer directly associated with the sponsoring organization?

Many in such a situation may initially panic out of fear that they would not be covered if they needed medical treatment. Yet such fear may be unwarranted; a person in such a situation may be eligible for continuing coverage thanks to the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act.

Per the U.S. Department of Labor, COBRA coverage may be available if a person’s case meets the following criteria:

  • They have experienced a significant life event
  • They meet the definition of a qualified beneficiary
  • The insurance plan that they had been covered under is eligible for COBRA coverage

A health plan is subject to COBRA if it is sponsored by a private company (or a state or local agency) that employs at least 20 full-time employees. Divorce meets the standard of being a significant life event, and in order to be a qualified beneficiary, one simply has to have been eligible for coverage the day prior to their significant life event occurring.

If one is eligible for COBRA coverage following a divorce, they can remain on their ex-spouse’s health plan for up to three years.