Four Health Insurance Options After Divorce
Divorce can have the unfortunate consequence of forcing you to find a new health insurance plan if you were previously on your spouse’s plan. You have several insurance options to choose from and should start shopping for one early in your divorce. The approval process can take weeks with some insurance providers. If you allow your insurance coverage to lapse, you risk having to pay out of pocket for an unexpected medical bill. However, you should also thoroughly research your options to find the best combination of benefits and affordability. Follow these four steps during your health insurance search:
- See If Your Employer Offers Insurance: An employer health insurance plan would likely provide you the cheapest and most comprehensive coverage. Getting a divorce immediately qualifies you to join an insurance plan, instead of waiting for an open enrollment period. However, a small business may not offer insurance, or the insurance plan may not have the benefits that you need.
- Ask Your Spouse About Staying on Plan: If you need to shop for a new insurance plan, ask your spouse if you can stay on his or her plan until your divorce is final. Your spouse can choose whether to keep you on or kick you off his or her plan while your divorce is ongoing. His or her response may depend on how contentious your divorce is.
- Apply for Continuing Insurance: You have 60 days after your divorce to contact your former spouse’s employer about remaining on the employee health insurance plan through COBRA. If you are approved, you can continue the coverage for as long as three years and with the same benefits as when you were married. However, COBRA insurance is your most expensive option because you will pay the entire cost of the group rate and a two percent administration fee.
- Shop for Individual Insurance: You can receive individual health insurance through the state exchange, the federal marketplace, or private insurers. As with COBRA, you have a 60-day special enrollment period after your divorce to apply. Through the shopping process, you can find insurance plans that you qualify for based on your income.
A Healthy Divorce
You must include the cost of paying for your own health insurance as part of your post-divorce budget. The extra expense may determine what compensation you need from your divorce. A Kane County divorce attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers will help you determine how your health insurance will affect your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 331-588-6611.