Medical Insurance After Divorce

You are prohibited from canceling, modifying, terminating, assigning or allowing to lapse for nonpayment of premiums, any insurance policy. If you cover your spouse or children on your insurance, do not drop them from the policy. You are probably responsible for their medical bills until then anyway. Even after the divorce, the employed spouse may want to keep the spouse and children covered. If you are paying child support, a large unexpected medical expense for the child could be assessed against the noncustodial parent as additional child support. The same could happen with alimony and an ex-spouse.

You may have the right to apply for health benefits through your former spouse’s current place of employment. Pursuant to COBRA legislation, nonemployee/spouses may be eligible after the divorce is final for certain insurance coverage at group rates. The insurance can continue up to 36 months, depending on your situation and the premiums should not exceed 105% of the current group rate. However, you must apply for this within 60 days of the date that the dissolution was final. Only if you file within that time period will you be eligible for COBRA coverage. Please check with your former spouse or through their employer immediately, as federal statutes and deadlines may change.

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