You have a lot to worry about when getting a divorce. From property division to child custody to spousal support, it can be overwhelming. It can be easy to forget about some less-obvious issues like health insurance. But as you go through the divorce process, it’s an issue worth addressing.
If you get health insurance through your spouse, you may have questions regarding whether or not you’ll lose your health insurance after divorce. Your spouse’s health insurance will continue to cover your children but not you. You may be able to get your ex-spouse to cover your healthcare costs in your divorce agreement.
Before panicking, here’s what you need to know about divorce and health insurance in Washington State.
Apply for Continued Coverage under COBRA
If your health insurance was through your ex-spouse’s employer, then you may be able to continue to receive health insurance by applying for COBRA. COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, allows certain people to stay covered for up to 36 months after a life-changing event, such as divorce. But the covered individual must pay all premiums under COBRA. You also must contact your employer within 60 days.
Get Covered through Your Employer
If your employer offers health insurance, you may be able to get covered by joining your employer’s group plan. Many employers pay part or all premiums. In some cases, this may actually be cheaper than the COBRA option, especially if your employer pays for at least part of the premiums.
Consider Purchasing Your Own Health Insurance Plan
If you don’t qualify for COBRA, are unemployed or your employer does not offer health insurance coverage, then you may purchase your own health insurance plan. Federal law now requires all individuals to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Washington Health Plan Finder can help you search for a plan that works best for you.
Get a Legal Separation Rather than a Divorce
Another option you have for maintaining your health insurance after divorce is to consider a legal separation rather than a divorce. But talk to your health insurance provider first. Some may not allow you to stay on the plan if you are legally separated. A legal separation, rather than a divorce, may give some spouses the time they need to secure their own coverage before getting a divorce.
Consult a Divorce Attorney at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny
If you’re going through a divorce and are worried about your health insurance benefits – or other insurance policies like life insurance – consult with an attorney, especially if you want to negotiate health insurance costs within your divorce agreement. Contact the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550.