Law Office of David L. Scott

Can I Keep My Health Insurance After Divorce?

Once a divorce becomes final, the health insurance company will automatically terminate coverage for the former spouse who is not the policyholder; if losing your spouse’s medical insurance would be devastating to your health and finances, the only solution is to find other insurance coverage or to delay your divorce. Alternatively, you may be able to receive COBRA coverage in some circumstances.

During your divorce, you cannot wait to get out of your marriage, but it is only after your divorce is final that you realize how many changes this may bring about. Medical insurance coverage on your spouse’s employer-provided plan is one of the things about marriage that you don’t miss until it is gone. Unfortunately, you cannot keep your medical insurance benefits under your ex-spouse’s insurance plan, although your children can keep their coverage. A Murfreesboro divorce lawyer can inform you of the expected changes in healthcare if, during your marriage, your insurance coverage was through your spouse’s work.

Health Insurance Coverage for a Spouse Automatically Terminates Upon Divorce

Some states let recently divorced people keep their health insurance coverage until the end of the year during which their divorce became final, but this is not the case in Tennessee. According to Tennessee law, if you were insured under your spouse’s health insurance plan, your benefits end immediately upon the issuance of the court order finalizing your divorce. Furthermore, Tennessee law requires the policyholder spouse to notify the other spouse, 30 days before the divorce becomes final, that the spousal insurance benefits are about to end. This way, the uninsured spouse has a chance to apply for COBRA or other insurance coverage to avoid a coverage gap. There may be exceptions depending upon the insurance provider and you should determine your provider’s procedures so you can prevent a gap in coverage.

What to Do if You Cannot Live Without Your Spouse’s Medical Insurance

Although the Affordable Care Act has made health insurance available to more people, paying for health insurance is not easy if you are recently divorced and have been out of the workforce. Your divorce decree may require your ex to pay you spousal support to cover the costs of your new health insurance. Likewise, if you have a health condition that would make health insurance prohibitively expensive, you might want to delay your divorce. For example, if your spouse’s health insurance is paying for an upcoming surgery, you might delay your divorce until after the surgery. If you have a chronic illness for which you can only afford care due to your spouse’s health insurance, you might consider getting a legal separation instead of a divorce. With a legal separation, you are still entitled to equitable distribution of marital assets and to a parenting plan for your children, but you are still legally married, making you still eligible for your spouse’s health insurance benefits if allowed by the insurance provider.

Contact David L. Scott About Paying for Healthcare After Divorce in Tennessee

Contact David L. Scott in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, or call (615) 896-7656 to set up a consultation.

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