Can I Stay On My Spouse’s Health Insurance After My Divorce?

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.

Did You Change Your Insurance Policies After Divorce? Are You Sure You Didn’t Forget Anything?

If you are in the process of getting a divorce, one consideration you might not think of immediately is how it will affect your insurance policies. In many cases, you will need to have your name taken off of an insurance policy when the divorce is finalized ”“ here’s a primer on some types of insurance you’ll need to change.

Filing for divorce starts an automatic, temporary injunction regarding financial matters and insurance. This means that neither spouse can modify an insurance policy, remove the spouse from the policy or stop paying premiums. However, after the divorce, spouses will likely need to have separate insurance policies, so plan ahead for these changes.

Health Insurance

If you are a dependent on your soon-to-be-ex spouse’s health insurance, you will no longer be able to be on it once the divorce is final. So, you should prepare ”“ you can buy health insurance from the health insurance marketplace, or seek it through your place of employment if it is offered. Don’t let a divorce lead to a lapse in your health insurance history, or you may regret it come tax time next year.

Car Insurance

Are both of you named on an auto insurance policy? That’s no bueno. One of the problems here is that you are both going to have to speak to your insurance provider because they are not allowed to remove one person from a joint insurance policy without the consent of the other. Taking care of this prior to divorce will make it so that you and your ex can have a clean ”“ or at least, cleaner ”“ break than having to take care of it after a potentially contentious divorce proceeding.

Home Insurance

If you’re not living in the marital home, then you probably don’t want to be on the insurance. Whoever leaves the home should remove his or herself from the insurance policy. If you are the one leaving and you’re planning on finding a small apartment to live in until you get back on your feet, look into renter’s insurance. There are a lot of people in apartment complexes, and you want to ensure your belongings are protected from those little things like theft or fire. Basic renters insurance can be very reasonably priced.

Speaking to a Denver divorce attorney about your case is the first step in ensuring that your finances are in order after your separation.