Paying for insurance after a divorce

When a Rhode Island resident gets a divorce, it may impact his or her ability to get insurance. It may also play a role in how his or her child gets insurance. For adults, the first option may be to apply for insurance as per the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. If a spouse worked for a company with 20 or more employees, the other spouse may be entitled to COBRA for up to 36 months after the divorce.

However, coverage through COBRA can be more expensive than what an individual paid while married for the same coverage. Employers may charge up to 102 percent of the premium, and the extra 2 percent helps the employer to pay for administering the plan. If a parent cannot pay for a child to receive adequate health coverage, it may be possible to ask the other parent to help pay for it.

This may become part of the eventual divorce decree. In some cases, it may be possible to retain insurance by delaying the timing of the divorce. In Utah, for example, filing a divorce decree can be delayed by up to three months. It may also be possible to avoid losing coverage by opting for a legal separation as opposed to a divorce. When a couple legally separates, they live apart without actually terminating the marriage.

At the end of a marriage, there may be many issues that need to be resolved. One of those issues might be how to obtain and pay for health insurance. In some cases, health insurance for an individual and his or her dependents may be obtained by finding employment after a divorce. It may also be obtained by asking for payment of health insurance premiums to be included in a divorce settlement.

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Nicholas J. Hemond Attorney at Law
1 Turks Head Place, 12th Floor
Providence, RI 02903

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