COBRA: Health Insurance Coverage After Divorce

One of the potential adverse financial consequences of divorce is the loss of health insurance coverage. Many families participate in employer-provided health insurance plans that cover the entire family. Although these plans cover dependent children after a divorce, as a general rule they do not allow the employee spouse to continue to cover an ex-spouse as a “family” member.

Many employers offer continued health insurance coverage known as COBRA, under which the ex-spouse can purchase coverage from the health insurance plan for a period of up to thirty-six months. COBRA can be very expensive. Therefore, you and your attorney should discuss the cost of COBRA.

The availability of health insurance is one of the statutory factors the court must consider in equitably dividing the marital estate. Therefore, if you are the non-employee spouse you should discuss health insurance with your attorney at the beginning of your divorce case. You should find out if your spouse’s health plan is subject to COBRA and if so how much it costs. If your spouse’s health plan is not subject to COBRA you should investigate what alternatives forms of health insurance coverage are available to you.

Posted in: Divorce