Divorce can mean the loss of a lot of things, but one of the most important ones is health insurance. If you were on your spouse’s work health insurance plan during your marriage, what happens to that coverage once you’re divorced?
If you are eligible for your own employer’s healthcare plan, switching to that is probably the best choice. Typically, it will be easier and less expensive, and you get a tax break since the premiums are deducted from your pay.
But what if you don’t have a job? Here are some other options:
Under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985, individuals at companies with 20 or more employees are able to remain on their spouse’s work health insurance plan for up to three years. You should receive an eligibility notice from your spouse’s employer and must file your enrollment form within 60 days of receiving that notice. Unfortunately, this is an expensive choice since you will be paying both your share and the employer’s share every month. You will also be responsible for paying for deductibles, prescriptions, and out-of-pocket costs.
On the state level, New Jersey COBRA insurance covers companies with fewer than 20 employees. These plans are available for up to 36 months following a divorce.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — offers individual health insurance that you purchase yourself. You can get estimates for premium costs and learn if your doctors are part of the network by visiting healthcare.gov. Open enrollment for ACA coverage runs from November 1 to December 15; however, there is a special enrollment period due to divorce that lasts 60 days after the divorce is finalized.
The state offers health care coverage for families and children who meet certain income thresholds. You can find out more about this program at njfamilycare.org.
You can rely on Murphy & Cistaro to skillfully negotiate and mediate your issues to a satisfactory resolution. Should the need arise, you can also count on our experience for being aggressive litigators if the situation calls for a more assertive response. Contact us today for your free consultation.