If you rely upon your spouse’s employer for health care insurance, you may worry about how your divorce can affect your coverage. According to Texas law, a spouse responsible for the other’s health insurance may not discontinue coverage while a divorce is pending.
Still, it is advisable to understand your options for post-divorce health insurance before the final dissolution of your marriage.
Planning while you still have health insurance will prevent poor decisions. Start by understanding your right to continue your existing coverage through federal or Texas state COBRA. If you choose this option, you will need to pay for the administrative costs of your coverage, which your spouse’s employer no longer assumes. Also, the coverage ends after 36 months.
Negotiate with your spouse
If possible, consider negotiating the continuation of your healthcare coverage as part of your divorce settlement. This option will ensure that you can keep your existing health insurance policy or that your spouse will pay for new coverage for an agreeable period.
Spouses do not need to negotiate such an agreement for their children’s healthcare coverage. Under Texas law, children of divorcing spouses receive health and dental insurance through a non-custodial parent’s employer-sponsored plan as part of that parent’s child support obligation.
Search the marketplace
Anyone experiencing a qualifying event, including divorce, that causes the loss of health insurance coverage may apply for cost-effective alternatives through their state’s marketplace without waiting for a specific enrollment period. Some individuals may qualify for government subsidies to help pay their premiums.
When navigating the emotional and practical burdens that accompany the dissolution of a marriage, it usually helps to plan for inevitable lifestyle changes.