3 Options For Keeping Health Insurance When Divorcing

During divorce negotiations with your spouse, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved before the final decree is signed by a judge. Health care is one of those. If you and your spouse do not already provide your own coverage, it is important you decide together what to do about future coverage. Here are some options from which you can choose. 

Get Your Own Insurance

One of the more commonly exercised options is for both partners to take on their own health care coverage. If you are covered by your spouse's insurance, you need to start shopping for new coverage immediately. The Healthcare Marketplace established by the federal government is a good place to start. If you qualify, you could receive assistance with covering the cost of your coverage. Since you are divorcing, you do not have to wait until the open enrollment period to sign up. You can also opt to get coverage through your own employer. 

Keep Your Current Coverage

If you have coverage through your spouse's insurance from his or her employer, you can still keep it even if you are divorced. You must apply for coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. Under the act, your spouse's insurance provider has to extend the chance to you to continue with your current coverage and you pay for it. There is a catch of which you should be aware though. 

Your spouse's employer paid a portion of the coverage and your family received a discounted rate. Since you are no longer considered part of your spouse's plan, your rates could be significantly higher. It could be more cost-effective to try to purchase a plan through the Marketplace. 

Include Your Coverage in the Settlement

There is a possibility that your divorce attorney could negotiate a settlement that includes your spouse paying for your coverage for a period of time. If you are going to receive alimony payments, it is possible that your spouse will consider it. Even if you are not receiving alimony, your attorney might be able to negotiate the coverage in exchange for you compromising on another issue. 

Getting a divorce can change your life, but it does not mean you have to lose access to healthcare. Work with your attorney to find the right solution for your situation and to understand what your state's laws say about providing insurance for an ex. 

Contact a legal office like Blumenauer Hackworth to learn more.