How will divorce affect health insurance or Medicare benefits?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Blog, Divorce

Divorce is difficult, especially when the family relies on one spouse for personal and financial security.

As a dependent spouse, one of the most critical issues during a divorce is maintaining medical coverage for you and your children.

Will my ex-spouse’s plan cover me after the divorce is final?

Health insurance benefits remain in effect during divorce proceedings, but federal law dictates that upon finalization, coverage ends. Your spouse may agree to cover your healthcare costs until you can secure your own plan as part of your settlement agreement.

For children of divorcing parents, existing coverage is typically unaffected unless a judge determines otherwise.

Am I eligible for Medicare?

You can use your former spouse’s employment history to apply for Medicare benefits if:

  • You are at least 62 years old
  • Your marriage lasted at least 10 years
  • You are currently unmarried
  • Your ex-spouse qualifies for disability or social security
  • Your work history entitles you to less than your ex-spouse

What are my options for coverage?

If you are feeling insecure about your medical situation during this difficult time, you should explore your coverage options. Per the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), you may be eligible to apply under your ex-spouse’s employer’s benefits plan for a limited time. You can also access healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act or pursue a short-term policy until you are able to secure employment that offers insurance benefits.

Establishing yourself as a separate entity from your spouse can be overwhelming, so it is important to understand your benefits and entitlements during and after divorce.