Many Arizona spouses obtain health insurance coverage through a group plan that is sponsored by their spouse’s employer. If this situation applies to you and you are considering divorce, it is natural to wonder whether you can keep your group plan coverage once the divorce is finalized.
Preparing for Health Insurance After Divorce
If you are on a group plan through your spouse’s employer, you must prepare to obtain new coverage once the divorce is finalized. Begin by determining if you qualify for another group plan through your own employer or organizations to which you may belong.
If you do not, and if the employer who provides the insurance to your spouse has at least 20 full time employees, one alternative is to keep the same insurance under what is referred to as “COBRA” coverage.
With “COBRA” coverage, you can keep the same coverage as under the spouse’s group plan, for up to 36 months. However, the employer is not required to offer you the coverage at the same cost.
As such, you can be charged up to the full insurance cost (without any employer subsidy), plus an additional percentage. This increase in cost over what your spouse was likely paying can make it more cost effective to obtain a separate individual policy and you should investigate the cost of other coverage before electing COBRA coverage.
Given the fluctuating federal laws regarding health insurance, you should consider talking to a health insurance specialist to assist in making these decisions when needed. And remember, if you are entitled to receive spousal maintenance, the cost of health insurance is a living expense to include when determining the appropriate amount of spousal maintenance you should receive.
Contact us at Hallier Stearns PLC for more information regarding how divorce can impact your health insurance coverage.