If you are like many Americans, you have health insurance through your spouse’s employer. After all, according to Health Markets, more than 70% of married adults in the U.S. are on the same policy. If you have decided to end your marriage, though, you might wonder how your upcoming divorce affects your coverage.
The good news is your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot remove you from his or her health insurance without your consent. Put differently, your husband or wife has a legal obligation to continue your health coverage until your divorce becomes final.
Your pre-divorce options
Even though you are on your spouse’s health insurance plan currently, there is likely nothing to prohibit you from looking for new coverage before your divorce concludes. Indeed, you might be able to secure coverage from your own employer, an independent provider or possibly the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
Your post-divorce options
Once your divorce is final, your spouse no longer must include you on his or her insurance policy. You might be eligible for continuing coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act, but this coverage typically is expensive. Some divorcing spouses use mediation to negotiate payment of COBRA coverage for the intermediate aftermath of divorce, however.
After COBRA coverage ends, you will need some other health insurance. Because it can take time to obtain new coverage, it makes sense to begin as early as possible. Ultimately, by carefully looking at all your options, you can avoid having a lapse in coverage or losing health insurance altogether.