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Continuing Your Health Insurance After Divorce

Posted on in Divorce Finances

You Can Continue on Your Spouse's Health Insurance After DivorceHealth insurance is one of the most important and costly services often shared between spouses. When you get divorced, you will be responsible for procuring your own health insurance if you were on your former spouse’s plan. If your employer allows it, you may be able to immediately sign up with your own employee health plan. But what if you do not have that option? There are a couple of insurance choices you should consider.

Insurance Continuation

Normally, continuing coverage on your previous health insurance plan is available through COBRA insurance. Premiums under this plan can cost up to 102 percent of the group rate.

However, former spouses and their dependents in Illinois without insurance have a cheaper option of continuing their previous coverage, thanks to the Illinois Spousal Continuation Law. Under the provisions of the law, you can continue on your spouse’s health insurance for up to two years if you are younger than 55 or until you qualify for Medicare if you are 55 or older. In order to qualify for continuation:

  • Your spouse’s insurance must be part of an employer group coverage plan. Self-insured employers do not qualify.
  • You must notify your spouse’s employer and insurance company of your intent to continue coverage within 30 days of the divorce.

If continued coverage is granted, the insurance will work the same as if you were an employee of the company providing the insurance. You will receive the same benefits as everyone else under the plan and will pay the same premiums. If you are 55 or older and continuing on the insurance for longer than two years, an administration fee may be applied, not to exceed 20 percent of the premium. Coverage will be stopped if:

  • You fail to pay your premiums.
  • Your spouse’s employer terminates the insurance plan.
  • You remarry.

Individual Coverage

Before deciding on continuing your former spouse’s health insurance, you should look at your options available in the Health Insurance Marketplace through the Affordable Care Act. You may be able to find a plan that provides the benefits you need at a cheaper price. If you choose to stay on your former spouse’s insurance, you will still need to sign up for an individual plan once your two years are finished. You can opt for an individual plan with the same insurance provider, but your premium costs will likely rise.

Expert Advice

There are several financial implications you need to consider when going through a divorce. An experienced Kane County divorce lawyer at the Goostree Law Group will guide you through the process. Set up an appointment today by calling 630-584-4800.



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