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Health insurance coverage can be affected by divorce

For Texas couples who are considering a divorce, financial and practical concerns can be some of the major worries that they have. Ending a marriage has a major impact on finances, and that impact can extend beyond the obvious issues of asset division and child and spousal support. Health insurance coverage can also be affected.

Many people believe that they can leave their insurance alone until the following calendar year, but there are federal laws that regulate the impact of divorce on healthcare. Once the divorce is finalized, spousal health insurance ends immediately. In general, state laws tend to put a freeze on economic matters while the divorce is pending, preventing insurance changes until the process is complete.

Divorce is considered a qualifying life event that allows people to purchase a policy or enroll in their employer's policy outside of the annual open enrollment period. There is no formal way to continue insurance coverage for the other spouse after a divorce. Cobra coverage can be obtained for 36 months following a divorce in many cases through the former spouse's employer, but it can often be less expensive for people without coverage to purchase a plan on the marketplace or join their employer's policy as soon as possible.

Divorce legal issues can be complex enough without having to worry about health care insurance coverage. In some cases, people can remain on the other party's insurance policy if they are legally separated rather than divorced. This is not the case with all companies, however, so people considering this route might want to get the advice of an attorney first.

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