Can My Spouse Keep My Health Insurance After Divorce?
While divorce is often a needed step toward a healthier and better life for all parties involved, it is also a process that necessarily comes with plenty of changes. One essential change that impacts a person’s wellbeing and health post-divorce is the fact that a spouse cannot stay on an ex’s health insurance plan after divorce. Children can stay on your ex-spouse’s health insurance, however, which is likely the best path forward for their health needs if the ex-spouse’s plan is a good one.
Keep the following healthcare information in mind to properly plan for your personal insurance needs after a divorce.
Once you divorce, you can no longer keep your ex-spouse on your health insurance.
Health Insurance Post-Divorce
After a divorce is finalized, a non-employee spouse may qualify for temporary coverage known as COBRA coverage. This coverage is based on the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which outlines that divorce is a qualifying event for this form of temporary coverage if the ex-spouse works for a company that employs 20 or more people.
Florida also offers a Mini COBRA program for those who are the ex-spouse of an individual who works for a company that employs between 2 and 19 people. This state-run program extends COBRA coverage to the ex-spouse of those who work for smaller companies that do not meet the federal standard of 20+ employees.
If your ex-spouse worked for an employer that qualifies under federal COBRA standards or Florida’s Mini Cobra program, the employer is required to provide this coverage if you notify a health plan administrator within 60 days of your divorce’s finalization. If this notice is not provided, you will lose COBRA eligibility.
Is COBRA Coverage Right for You?
While receiving 36 months of COBRA coverage may sound like a good deal, this is generally an undesirable strategy. For one thing, COBRA insurance tends to be quite expensive since a spouse who is eligible will be responsible for the entire premium amount. This is true of COBRA insurance at both the federal and state level, meaning it is likely in your best interests to find a cheaper plan through your employer if possible.
Regardless, the coverage will end after three years, so you will need to be prepared to find new insurance eventually. If you are worried about the health insurance of your children, understand that these changes do not affect them.
If you cannot obtain insurance through your own employer, a better option may be shopping the ACA exchange or the Florida Health Choices insurance exchange. However, it does appear that the future of the Florida Health Choices exchange is very much in doubt after Gov. Scott vetoed its funding, which is something to keep in mind.
If you have questions regarding custody and divorce, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a Tampa family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group, your divorce lawyer Tampa, to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]