There are many things to consider when planning for a divorce. The more obvious concerns are child custody, alimony, and division of marital property. However, another equally important topic is financial stability following divorce. Moving from a two or one shared income family to being on one’s own is never easy. A divorce may mean selling a home or giving up a car as part of the property division process. Another form of financial difficulty can come in the form of health insurance. Alternative options for healthcare coverage are important, particularly for those partners who depend on their spouse’s employment for the family health insurance
Most employers will only add family members to work-sponsored health insurance plans. This means that after a divorce is obtained, the non-employed spouse can no longer receive insurance from the plan. Finding an insurance option can be a challenge, especially when that spouse is not employed or does not have an employer that provides insurance.
Typically, children will retain coverage under the insured spouse’s employer plan, but if your spouse loses insurance due to loss of employment or reduction of benefits, the need for affordable health insurance coverage may extend to your children.
The Affordable Care Act provides options for uninsured ex-spouses and children caught in divorce. Open enrollment for insurance runs from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015 for 2015 health insurance coverage. However, a qualifying life event such as loss of coverage due to divorce enables the suddenly uninsured spouse and children to obtain health insurance coverage immediately.
Plans can be purchased directly through private insurers or can be purchased via the health care marketplace, where spouses with limited income may be eligible for a government subsidy.
If health insurance is a concern of the divorcing spouse, it is advisable to begin to make plans for alternate insurance options as soon as possible.