Will I lose my health insurance when I file for divorce?

Filing for divorce can be very stressful, especially if the divorce is contested. You will need to resolve complicated issues, such as how to divide property and debts, child custody, and child support.

One ramification of your divorce that you do not want to overlook is its effect on your health insurance coverage. Because health insurance costs are expensive, this can be a difficult issue if you do not have your own insurance coverage through your employer.

Health Insurance While Your Divorce Is Pending

Health Insurance Paperwork and StethoscopeYou are entitled to continue with your current health insurance coverage while your divorce proceedings are pending. This is true whether you or your spouse filed for divorce.

If your partner tries to cut off your health coverage, you can take action to force them to reinstate your coverage. Under Virginia law, the judge in your case can order that your current health insurance plan continue until your divorce is finalized.

Your Options for Health Insurance After Your Divorce

Once your divorce is finalized, your spouse would not be able to keep you on their health insurance policy, even if they wanted to. Unless the court orders them to pay the cost of your health insurance as part of an alimony award to you, you will need to purchase your own health insurance coverage. Your options include:

  • COBRA. Under COBRA laws, you have the right to keep your health insurance through your former spouse for 36 months if you pay for it. You would need to notify the administrator of the plan within 60 days of the finalization of your divorce.
  • Your employer’s health insurance. You could sign up for health insurance coverage through your employer if you have this benefit. A divorce is a triggering event that permits you to obtain health insurance benefits even if you are not in the open enrollment period.
  • Private insurance. If you do not have health insurance through your job and cannot afford to stay on your spouse’s policy under COBRA, you will need to purchase your own health insurance through a private company. You may be able to reduce the costs of your premiums through the Obamacare Marketplace.

Are you considering filing for divorce in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our experienced family law lawyers are here to help. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial, no-obligation initial consultation today to learn about your options and to get your questions answered.