Divorce is traumatic enough without the added injury of losing health insurance.
We get many calls along these lines and our goal is simple.
There's a lot to consider.
We'll touch on the key issues but we're happy to help with your situation.
So, let's dive right in.
Most health plans require a family relationship...spouse, dependent child, domestic partner, etc in order to be under one policy.
Let's look at each category.
Spouse or Domestic Partner losing health insurance
Divorce obviously affects this for the two spouses or domestic partners.
If the underlying policy is a group plan (through an employer), the person who is employed can remain on the policy.
The dependent spouse/domestic partner may (should) have a Cobra or Cal-Cobra option available to them as a result of the divorce.
This means that the dependent spouse can get the same group health plan for up to 18 months (may have an additional 18 month Cal-Cobra extension).
The dependent will generally have 62 days from last date of coverage to elect Cobra back to the last date of prior coverage.
The effective date must be day following last date of group so back months may need to be paid.
Divorce may allow the Cobra enrollee to change plans if available.
Individual Family Covered following Divorce
A spouse can also enroll in individual/family coverage including Covered California.
Even outside of Open Enrollment.
Loss of coverage allows for the most flexible effective date (1st of the month after enrollment)
IMPORTANT: If you elect Cobra, we will likely have to wait for Open Enrollment (Nov 1st for Jan 1st eff date)
Comparing Cobra and Individual Family following Divorce
We're written an entire article on this topic here but the broad strokes:
It can be complicated (many facets) but don't worry.
We can quickly compare the two options for you at 800-320-6269. Our services are free as Certified Covered Ca agents.
Children can generally remain on the parent's policy until they turn 26.
Their rate would not change from the current charge for the kids.
This is important if the kids are currently in a course of treatment and need to keep a larger network of doctors/hospitals.
That being said...
It's also a good time to re-quote the full market and see what's available.
Pricing and tax credit can have a huge impact...especially if income is affected by divorce.
Two important pieces come to mind.
1. If you're divorcing mid-year, we can enroll you as a single person since you will file taxes as a single person (or head of house with children) the following April.
Status at the time you file taxes is what matters. For example, April of 2017 for a divorce that occurred during 2016.
2. In terms of income for tax credit calculation, Child support is not included but spouse support (alimony) is.
This also applies to the person paying the support in terms of their income.
Kids can remain as dependents on health plan or can also change plans.
They are under the same Special Enrollment period as the spouse/domestic spouse to change plans outside of open enrollment.
Following a divorce, when do things need to happen?
Our time table partially depends on the type of coverage we're losing.
If you are losing group health insurance due to divorce, here are the important deadlines.
Cobra generally last 18 months. Some people may qualify for Cal-Cobra for an 18 month extension of the original Cobra period.
Individual Family can change during open enrollment (Nov 1st-Jan 31st) outside of a big life change (which divorce is).
We can help you with the process and make sure you don't lose coverage options at 800-320-6269. Our services are free.
There are some important reminders if you find yourself exploring all the new options.
1. Tax credits can significantly affect your pricing and benefits
2. Comparing Cobra and Individual/family (including Covered California) is critical
We need to look at doctors, income, health care needs, budget, etc. There's a lot going on with this comparison but we can quickly size it up in 10 minutes at 800-320-6269
3. Watch out for deadlines!
They're everywhere after losing coverage due to divorce.
Many people are obviously in a state of tumult after divorce and health insurance is one of those things we all love to put off.
Don't wait too long.
Call us at 800-320-6269 and we'll quickly get you on the right path.
One final note...cost of health insurance can figure into the divorce settlement.
Generally, the person losing coverage wants to quote equivalent coverage to what he/she had as part of the family.
We can help with this. Just send us current benefit summary and monthly rate for just you.
We'll find the closest equivalent so you a cost basis for the divorce settlement.
We can expect increases of 10-20% going forward annually so make sure to take that into account.
Again, our services are free and we can help you with the full calculation at 800-320-6269.
Also, check out losing health insurance at age 26
Again, there is absolutely no cost to you for our services. Call 800-320-6269 Today!
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20 years of experience in the California health insurance market has taught us one thing...Competent and experienced guidance is Invaluable
We can quickly (very important) size up your health insurance needs and clearly explain the options available to you. Our focus is finding the most coverage at the best cost to you.
We are licensed Covered Ca agents with in-depth knowledge of their plans, process, and tax credits.
Call us...you will be Pleasantly Surprised. 800-320-6269
We'll quickly see if you have the best priced plan available and if you qualify for a tax credit800-320-6269
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