Once the divorce is finalized, you are no longer considered a spouse. You are no longer eligible for health insurance coverage unless you pay for continued coverage.
Federal law requires your spouse’s employer to offer insurance to you for a period of thirty-six months after the divorce. Commonly known as the COBRA law, this federal law ensures continued coverage, subject to your paying for the coverage. Investigate the cost of continuing on your spouse’s employer-provided plan. Ordinarily, the cost for continued coverage is very high, and a private policy may be less expensive. And with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, the advantages of COBRA coverage may become even less attractive.
If you are interested in accessing your rights to continued coverage under the COBRA law, you will need to make the election for coverage within sixty days from the entry of the divorce decree. More information concerning your rights under the COBRA laws is available at: www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-consumer-cobra.html.
Begin early to investigate your options for your future health insurance. The cost of your health care is an important factor when pursuing maintenance and planning your post- divorce budget.
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