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Health Insurance After Divorce

Maintaining healthcare coverage for you and your children

The common system of employer-sponsored health insurance can leave you scrambling for coverage after your divorce. Possibly your employer does not provide insurance or you worked as a stay-at-home parent whose only access to the reasonably-priced group insurance rates was through your spouse’s job. Options available on the free market are limited and expensive. Your former spouse is prohibited from keeping you on the policy and so this possibility is nonnegotiable. However, New York and federal laws give you important healthcare rights. You can further protect your family by negotiating crucial provisions in your divorce decree.

Address health coverage for children in your divorce decree

Continuation of your children’s coverage is essential to their health and well-being. A court is likely to rule that your spouse should continue providing your children with the same coverage provided to your family during your marriage. You can negotiate a fair division of the costs of premiums, deductibles and uncovered medical treatments to be included in your divorce decree.

Your rights to coverage under COBRA

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is intended to prevent devastating interruption in healthcare coverage when certain life events occur — such as divorce from a worker who formerly provided the spouse with employer sponsored coverage. Under federal and New York COBRA provisions, you have the right to the same healthcare policy as a similarly situated person who did not suffer the qualifying event — in your case, the divorce from an employee of the company. At 102 percent of the premium price, the cost of COBRA can make it impractical to maintain for the full 36 months it is available to you. However, COBRA can fill the gap until you can obtain more reasonably priced coverage.

Your divorce should not cost you crucial healthcare. Get the help you need from family law attorney Bryan L. Salamone, Esq. to defend your right to coverage.

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