In a perfect world, your soon-to-be-ex would ensure you’re able to keep the same medical coverage as before. If you recently had a divorce, it’s important to research your options and take control of your healthcare coverage ASAP. Here are a few of your insurance options:
- Can Married Couples Have Separate Health Insurance?
- 6 Marketplace Health Insurance Alternatives to Obamacare
- Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) – Game-Changing Healthcare Model
If you are a spouse or former spouse of someone who gets divorced, you may lose their employer-sponsored health insurance. You can enroll in COBRA to maintain the same coverage for 18 months-36 months (depending on certain factors). Depending on the type of health insurance plan and benefits that your employer offers, it can be challenging to find affordable coverage after divorce.
Once your current health insurance policy terminates, you have 60 days to enroll in COBRA. If you do not enroll in a COBRA plan, your ex-spouse will have the opportunity to apply for another employer-sponsored or private health insurance plan without any experience of premium contribution from their employer. One potential benefit of divorce is a new insurance plan, as explained. However, it can be the most expensive option available. Before starting over with an insurance plan, make sure to research your options instead.
2. Employer Health Insurance Plan
When you are eligible for your employer-provided health insurance, talk to an HR advisor about joining their plan. COBRA is more expensive, and it’s important that a new job doesn’t enroll you in the old company’s healthcare plan if one of them is due to you divorcing. Divorce begins a special enrollment period at work, during which time participants can join their previous employer’s health insurance coverage without waiting for “certain times of the year.”
3. ACA / Obamacare Health Plan
Even if you have employer-provided healthcare, it may not be an option when filing for divorce. You need to make sure that whoever is receiving the coverage can’t use those benefits to obtain their own individual plan on the Obamacare marketplace.
After the divorce is finalized, you have 60 days to sign up for health care coverage. Once those 60 days are over, you will need to wait until open enrollment begins. Open enrollment typically starts at the end of the year.
When shopping for a health insurance plan after divorce, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. To make more informed choices about your options, remember these five things when researching and comparing plans:
HMO plans are organized into different levels or metal types: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. These metals don’t denote a quality of care; they only represent how you pay for it. Bronze is the most affordable plan but usually has high deductibles and a smaller doctor network than more expensive HMOs that offer lower deductibles and larger networks.
Premiums for a platinum plan are about 90% of the cost of an average person’s medical expenses, and a bronze plan is about 60%. Each type may be eligible for tax credits based on your household income, which lowers your monthly payment.
Commitment to a certain doctor or facility for medical care is of the utmost importance as they will be an important part of health insurance coverage.
International travel is challenging regardless of your age, but parents travelling with kids face an even greater challenge. A health insurance deductible is the dollar amount you must meet before the health insurance company begins paying for your medical care. Take a look at the policy’s deductible and make sure you have the savings to pay for that coverage gap.
Filing for Medicaid to replace your insurance plan can be a satisfying feeling, but you need to make sure the monthly payments will fit into your budget.
States with the requirement that people buy health insurance will mandate a fine if they decide not to purchase coverage. This nationwide requirement expired in most states in 2019, and many are moving away from this requirement.
4. Short-Term Health Insurance
If a gold Obamacare plan doesn’t meet your needs or you feel confident in finding an employer-sponsored health insurance policy, short-term medical insurance is the perfect supplemental coverage. Understand these four things about short-term treatments:
- Certain pre-existing conditions and most of these plans have blanket exclusions for all pre-existing conditions. If you do have a pre-existing condition that cannot be covered or Obamacare is your best option
- Coverage starts as soon as the day following your application
- Temporary insurance plans typically last for 3, 6- or 12 months, depending on your state of residence
Divorce is a major life-changing event, but securing the right health insurance after divorce shouldn’t be too difficult once you understand your options. Make sure that well-being is safeguarded so that the next chapter of your life can be happy and healthy.
Legal Situations That May Affect Your Health Insurance After Divorce
What if You’re Separated but Not Divorced?
If you and your ex-spouse are not living together, there is no rule against staying on their insurance. Your ex-spouse may end up receiving your private health records in the mail.
It’s important to understand how health insurance coverage differs when a couple divorces.
The primary spouse on your health insurance plan may be able to enter health insurance coverage on their own once the plan expires, however.
You may need to get divorce insurance!
What if you and your spouse undergo a legal separation (or “limited”), but things don’t work out? What will happen with healthcare coverage then, huh? It’s best to talk about divorce plans before anything happens.
Health Insurance In A Divorce Settlement
You can discuss health coverage and have it included as part of a divorce settlement. You may choose any plan your now ex-spouse has access to, whether on the individual market or through an employer’s company.
If You had a Divorce But Don’t Lose Your Health Insurance
I’m a health insurance expert, and here’s the scoop.
Typically, when couples separate, they lose the shared plan but then can choose a new ACA plan. Sometimes, however, one spouse retains or repays their ex-partner on an existing individual plan without losing coverage. It is best for both parties to talk to their health insurance carrier for details.