How Does Healthcare Figure into a Divorce Settlement?
Divorce raises many questions about health insurance for you and your children. If your employer’s group insurance plan has covered your family, the court can require you to keep your children enrolled, even if you don’t have custody of them, by issuing a qualified medical child support order (QMCSO). The court might even require you to pay for your spouse’s insurance for at least a short time.
If you’ve been on your spouse’s plan, you may have to choose the least expensive option available:
- Enrolling in your employer’s group health insurance plan — A divorce is a qualifying life event that allows you to enroll outside the usual enrollment period. Of course, you’d have to be employed with a company that provides health insurance.
- Continuing on your spouse’s policy — Some insurers allow ex-spouses to remain on a policy after a divorce for at least a short transitional period. However, there may be additional premiums.
- Purchasing your old coverage through COBRA — The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, allows you to purchase your old coverage under your spouse’s plan. However, you must pay the full cost (employee plus employer share) of the coverage. This can last as long as 36 months.
- Purchasing health insurance through the state or federal exchange — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires all adults to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. Depending on your income, you might be able to purchase subsidized health insurance.
It’s important to consider the additional costs of healthcare when negotiating a marital settlement agreement. The amounts the supporting spouse pays for insurance premiums can influence a child support or alimony award. Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. always fights for your economic rights and the best possible outcome.