No one wants you to go without health insurance, so you do have options. The soon-to-be-uninsured can keep the same coverage as when s/he was married if s/he is able to pay for COBRA coverage. You are eligible for COBRA coverage for a maximum of 36 months from the date the divorce is finalized. However, COBRA can be extremely expensive and cost prohibitive. Some spouses are able to obtain health insurance from his/her own employer. Perhaps you did not pursue this option before because you had better coverage through your spouse’s employer. Divorce is considered a life-altering event, and you can opt in to health insurance after the divorce even if it is not during open enrollment. If insurance is not an option through employment, then you can enroll in Obamacare. Again, because divorce is a life-altering event, you do not have to wait until open enrollment for your coverage to begin.
The cost of the newly acquired health insurance is something that can be negotiated during divorce mediation. You need to do your research, find out various costs and investigate your options. We have had couples agree that the employed spouse would pay for the COBRA coverage for three years while the unemployed spouse looked for a job. We have also had couples agree to an initial increase in spousal support to help offset the cost of acquiring health insurance. A mediator can help you figure out what works best for your situation, so no one has to be uninsured.
For more information about divorce mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.