Maybe your work doesn’t offer health insurance. Maybe it does, but your plan through your spouse’s work is better. But what happens when you separate? Can you stay on your spouse’s insurance, or do you have to seek out another provider?
Issues of Health Insurance in Divorce
No matter whether you are legally separated or divorced, you have the option of staying on your ex’s health insurance in a limited capacity through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. If your ex-works for a company with more than 20 employees, COBRA eligibility is automatic. If your spouse works for a company with less than 20 employees, you might still be eligible for Colorado’s mini-COBRA.
However, your spouse’s company is only required to provide COBRA coverage to you if you notify the insurance provider within 60 days of your divorce. If you fail to notify them in time, you will not be covered under COBRA.
Additionally, you cannot use COBRA forever. There is a 36-month limit on COBRA coverage, so while using your ex’s insurance might buy you some time, you should still be ready to transfer to your own health insurance plan when COBRA expires.
Before you decide on COBRA coverage, you should compare the rates with the health insurance provided by your own job, if there is any. While many employers pay a portion or all of employees’ health insurance premiums, COBRA requires you to pay your whole premium (and in some cases, more). COBRA may be convenient, but it can be more expensive than finding your own plan through your employer.
Our Denver family lawyers are well-equipped to assist you in ensuring that your needs are taken care of following divorce.