Divorce proceedings are chock full of uncertainty. For some, the most difficult part of divorce is not knowing what comes next. After all, it is unusual to practice a mantra of“ Que Sera Sera” since we are creatures of habit and change can be disruptive. Especially when it comes to keeping your health insurance after divorce.
The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado assists with parenting plans, division of property, financial analysis AND a topic important to all Americans, especially those over 40 - how to keep my health insurance when my spouse and I divorce.
The uncertainty of healthcare coverage post divorce is an especially worrisome topic for spouses who are stay at home parents or self-employed. Consider that as of 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly a quarter of women in the United States under age 64 received health coverage through their spouse's employer-sponsored plan.
Thanks to COBRA, even after a divorce or separation, the non insured party can keep their health insurance from their ex-spouse’s company if it has at least 20 employees, for up to three years after a divorce. Employees should verify this with their employer/plan administrator in writing or an email.
If your soon to be ex-spouse’s Colorado employer has less than 20 employees, you may still be able to enroll in mini COBRA. Like federal COBRA, it is also very expensive for most people because you must pay the entire premium on your own, but it also has the same benefit because your health insurance plan remains exactly the same. Click here for more info on mini COBRA.
Beyond COBRA, we recommend that the uninsured party obtain their own health insurance as soon as possible.
Your options include: Signing up for coverage through your employer if it’s offered. You can sign up outside the regular open enrollment period if you’ve lost coverage from another source, or have experienced a ‘life event’, such as divorce.
Buying a policy directly from a health insurance company or your state’s health insurance marketplace. In Colorado go here.
If you are worried that a soon-to-be-former spouse will cancel your health insurance during the divorce, Colorado law has you covered.
Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-107 (4)(b)(I)(D) forbids the cancellation of health insurance that provides coverage for spouses and dependent children. Additionally, spouses cannot allow the insurance to lapse by not paying the premiums.
The only way a spouse can change or cancel health insurance coverage during a divorce is if both parties are given at least 14 days of advance notice and both agree to the change in writing.
To better understand your options for post divorce health coverage, schedule a time to speak with one of the experienced team members at the Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado. Your pathway to certainty becomes clearer with your first 20 minute complimentary phone call.