Can you stay on your spouse’s medical plan after divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce is a challenging life change, filled with numerous decisions and adjustments. Health insurance often takes a prominent place in the list of concerns when separating.

If you were under your spouse’s medical insurance during your marriage, it is important to understand your options for maintaining that coverage.

Eligibility

In many cases, individuals covered under a spouse’s health insurance plan risk losing that coverage after a divorce. Medical insurance plans typically view marriage as the basis for eligibility. Once you divorce, the insurance provider may consider you ineligible for coverage under your former spouse’s plan. Check the plan’s terms for details.

COBRA

Fortunately, there is a potential avenue for maintaining health insurance coverage after divorce: the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Under COBRA, individuals who would otherwise lose health coverage due to qualifying events, such as divorce, have the option to continue the same coverage.

While COBRA provides a bridge to securing replacement insurance, be aware of its temporary nature and potentially high cost. Coverage typically lasts for only 36 months after the divorce. During this time you are responsible for the full premium cost, including the portion previously covered by your spouse’s employer.

Alternatives

For a long-term solution, explore alternative options for health insurance. Researching individual plans through your employer, the Affordable Care Act marketplace or private insurers can be a prudent step. Evaluate the available plans based on your specific needs. Take into account factors such as cost, coverage and network providers.

Navigating insurance when you divorce requires careful consideration and proactive decision-making to ensure your continued access to healthcare services.