Meeting health insurance needs following a divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

As people in Springfield begin to plan for their post-divorce lives, one element that often comes to the forefront of their minds is how they will replace the financial support they had been receiving from their soon-to-be ex-spouses. Those who were not the primary income earners in their marital homes may be justly concerned as to how they will now see to their own (and potentially their children’s) needs. Child and spousal support can help meet their day-to-day needs, but what about unplanned expenses such as healthcare costs? If the ex-spouse was the income earner, then they also likely secured the family’s insurance coverage.

Typically, the court will require that the ex-spouse continue to carry insurance for the kids. The other parent, however, might worry about having a coverage gap between the end of their marriage and the point where they can secure gainful employment. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act can help to bridge that gap. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, people whose affiliations with the organizations that sponsor their group health plans end are entitled for continuing coverage under COBRA (and divorce is included in the Act’s list of qualifying events).

To qualify for continuing coverage, one must not have experienced a qualifying event, but their group health plan must be sponsored by a state or local agency or a private organization that employs more than 20 employees (the more likely scenario of the two given that the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 67.2 percent of Americans have private health insurance). In addition, one must have been covered under the group health plan they day before their qualifying event occurred.

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