How Does COBRA Insurance Work for Divorced People?

How Does COBRA Insurance Work for Divorced People

If you get divorced and had previously depended on your spouse for health insurance, you may still obtain coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Under this law, you would get the same employer-sponsored health insurance coverage you had during your marriage.

There is, however, a catch: you’ll have to pay for that coverage, plus an extra 2 percent to cover administrative costs. This can make the cost prohibitive for recently divorced people, so depending on your circumstances, it may be a better option to get coverage through your employer (if that is an option) or find an option via the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

If you do choose to go the COBRA route, you can get coverage for up to 36 months on that employer-sponsored plan.

How it works

You must notify the plan within 60 days if you will be applying for COBRA after a divorce. After this, the plan has 14 days to respond to you with information about how to elect for COBRA coverage, and then you have another 60 days to make your final decision.

If you decide you will waive COBRA coverage, you can still revoke that waiver later on, if you’re still in that 60-day election period. After that, you lose the opportunity to obtain COBRA coverage.

You are also able to cancel COBRA coverage at any time if you get a new insurance option. You are not required to fulfill the entire 36-month coverage period.

Coverage will end when you elect to drop coverage, when you reach the end of that 36-month period, when you become eligible for Medicare, when you stop paying your premiums or if the employer goes out of businesses. If the employer switches plans, you may switch to the new plan.

For more information on COBRA coverage and other issues involved in your divorce, contact an experienced Long Island attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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