What can I do about health insurance after my divorce?

With health care costs constantly rising, it’s no surprise that one of your major concerns during a divorce is how you are going to pay for medical care after your split from your spouse is finalized.

First and foremost, experts indicate that you cannot stay on your former spouse’s health insurance once your divorce is finalized. There is simply no way around this. However, the good news is that your children can — and likely should — stay on your former spouse’s policy.

After the divorce is finalized, you can likely qualify for COBRA coverage as a non-employee spouse. However, experts point out that you should be aware that COBRA coverage can be costly and lasts for a maximum of 36 months.

The consensus among experts seems to be that people in this position should strongly consider securing their own health insurance (perhaps through their employer) if at all possible. The reasoning for this is relatively simple: If you happen to become stricken with a medical condition while on a COBRA plan, future insurers may decide to treat it as a preexisting condition, meaning they either charge you outrageous premiums or decide not to insure you.

Interestingly, some spouses are now going the legal separation route instead of divorce as it can enable a husband or wife to stay on their estranged spouse’s health insurance policy. Experts advise, however, that this might be a somewhat risky move as more and more insurers are viewing legal separations the same as divorce. Here it may be worthwhile to consider speaking with a qualified family law attorney.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about dissolution of marriage, property division or other divorce-related issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or financial advice.


The Huffington Post, “Divorce questions: Can I still get medical insurance from my ex after divorce?” Jeffrey Landers, April 15, 2012