Can You Receive Benefits under Your Ex’s Insurance Policy?
As the national debate over the last five years has so aptly demonstrated, health insurance coverage is an important concern for most Americans. What are your options for health insurance coverage after divorce? Can you remain a named insured on your ex’s policy, even though you are no longer married to them?
The simple answer – probably not. Most likely, you cannot be a beneficiary of the health insurance policy of an ex-spouses, and you probably will have to obtain insurance coverage through some other means.
There is an exception that can be applied in some circumstances (described more below), but for most people, these are the likely options for health insurance upon divorce:
- You can pursue benefits through COBRA under your ex-spouse’s health insurance policy—Under the law, one of the events that qualifies you to pursue COBRA benefits is “divorce or legal separation of the spouse from the covered employee.” You will only be eligible for COBRA benefits, however, for a period of 18 to 36 months. In addition, COBRA only applies to companies with 20 or more employees. You must elect COBRA benefits within 60 days of the date your divorce is finalized.
- You can obtain insurance through the Health Care Marketplace—You can apply for coverage under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Be advised, though, that one of the questions you will be asked to determine whether you qualify is whether you are eligible for COBRA benefits. You are not disqualified from purchasing through the Health Care Marketplace because of COBRA eligibility, but must be careful during the application process that you don’t inadvertently answer a question in a way that disqualifies you.
One way that you can try to keep health insurance after divorce is to discuss the option of “Divorce from Bed and Board.” In layman’s terms, Divorce from Bed and Board is where you are almost 100% divorced, but you are still technically married for purposes of health insurance. There are pros and cons to getting a Divorce from Bed and Board, and there are several procedural steps that need to be put into effect to make it work. But for certain couples, Divorce from Bed and Board can really help when it comes to maintaining health insurance.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer at Lyons & Associates Today
If you are involved in or considering a divorce, and have concerns about health insurance or some of the other financial aspects of your divorce, contact Lyons & Associates online or call 908-575-9777 to schedule a confidential consultation.
Lyons & Associates is conveniently located in Somerville, Somerset County, New Jersey.