During and after a divorce, it’s essential to ensure that children and both spouses will have continued health insurance coverage. Generally health insurance responsibilities are outlined in your Divorce Settlement Agreement. Here are some health insurance considerations to discuss with your attorney and/or your spouse before creating a Divorce Settlement Agreement.

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If Neither Spouse Has Group Coverage
When there is no existing health insurance coverage, you and your ex-spouse must decide who will purchase insurance for your children and who will pay the costs (or if the cost is shared). The costs can be decided by certain percentages, so for example, the custodial mother could pay for 40% of the cost while the non-custodial father pays for 60%.  

If One Spouse Has Group Coverage
In this case, normally the parent who has group health coverage will continue to provide health insurance for the children. However, if there are health insurance premiums that need to be paid to keep the health insurance active, the payment may be the responsibility of one or the other parent, or a combination of both parents.

It’s also important to consider that one spouse may lose health insurance coverage after a divorce. Many times, the non-primary spouse on a plan becomes ineligible for group coverage. In that situation, COBRA can be a good option. COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It is a federal law which states that insurance companies provide temporary health care coverage for up to 36 months until the person who has lost coverage can find a permanent solution. COBRA can be accessed by anyone going through divorce or legal separation who is losing coverage from a spouse’s group health insurance plan. 

If Both Spouses Have Group Coverage

The best scenario is when you and your ex-spouse must decide who has the primary plan and who has the secondary plan for your children, and you both have your own existing health insurance coverage that will continue.  In this case your children can stay on both plans. Your insurance companies can help you figure out which plan is primary and which is secondary for your children.

Copays and Other Medical Costs Not Covered by Insurance
In addition to assigning responsibilities for the cost of the health insurance premiums and maintaining group coverage, you and your ex-spouse also need to decide who will pay for the co-pays and medical expenses which are not covered by insurance. This information should also be included in your Divorce Settlement Agreement.

Get started Start Your Divorce Settlement Agreement Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Divorce Settlement Agreement Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.