Friday, July 12, 2013

Health Insurance after Divorce.

About 115,000 women per year lose private health insurance in the months following a divorce and more than half that (approximately 65,000) will lose coverage long term.

Typically, the court cannot prevent an insurer carrier from ending coverage for a divorced spouse of the named insured because they are no longer "related to" the insured. There may be other options available such as COBRA continuation health coverage which gives former spouses the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates if certain criteria are met. COBRA coverage is paid for by the beneficiary and it can be quite expensive, though it is generally less than individual private health insurance. COBRA costs for health insurance are typically the full cost of the coverage for the beneficiary including the cost to the employee and cost to the employer plus 2% for administrative costs.

COBRA conversion benefits are only available for a set amount of time and will terminate after the maximum period has ended.  If arrangements are not made in advance of COBRA ending, there will be a break in coverage. There may be options available for affordable health care and planning in advance for the anticipated lapse in health care coverage will minimize the length of time uninsured.

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