Insurance After Divorce

As changes to health insurance policies sweep the country, many people in Ocala have questions regarding who is eligible to stay on what policies. Are adult children allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plans when they’re in college? What about after graduation if they don’t have jobs?

In most families, whichever spouse has better health insurance options from their employment often takes out a plan for the entire family. Or sometimes, only one spouse has insurance and covers the whole family. But what happens to that insurance coverage if the couple files for divorce?

Once you are divorced, you can no longer stay on your spouse’s insurance plan. This is generally mandated by the insurance companies themselves, and the divorce court cannot make them keep the divorced spouse on the plan. If you work for a company that offers insurance benefits, it’s important to sign up for a plan as soon as you can. However, if your company does not provide an insurance plan or if you are a stay-at-home parent, you may be wondering what options you have.

When the divorce is finalized, you may qualify for COBRA coverage. However, it’s important to remember that the coverage provided by COBRA is temporary, and you cannot stay on a plan for more than 36 months.

So what other options do you have? Once you know you are getting divorced, it is important to start looking for a new insurance plan as soon as possible. If you are using COBRA and you developed a condition, your new insurance provider may view it as pre-existing condition, making your coverage options limited or only available with higher premiums.

Thankfully, even though you cannot stay on your spouse’s plan, your children can stay on the plan. However, it is important to make sure you talk about who will be responsible for paying the premiums. An experienced divorce attorney can help facilitate that discussion and may be able to suggest an effective solution.