Monday, May 21, 2012

Health Insurance and Divorce

            A question many clients ask is the impact a divorce will have on their family’s medical insurance coverage.  The answer depends on the status of the case. During the pendency of the divorce, a court can, and often will, order that the spouse providing the medical insurance maintain that coverage for the other spouse and the children while the case is pending.  After a divorce is final however, the spouse providing coverage will only be ordered to provide the children with continued health insurance coverage so long as it remains available through his or her employer at a reasonable cost.  In addition, it is standard that a company will no longer allow coverage for an ex-spouse.
Therefore, if both spouses are capable to providing coverage for the children, the two should agree upon the plan which is most beneficial. The party providing insurance should receive a credit on their child support obligation.  This issue can be revisited if circumstances change such as the employment status of the parent providing coverage.  Therefore, if the terms of a policy or cost of coverage change, the parties may agree to another arrangement a later date or a court may order a different arrangement based on a change of circumstances. In the event neither party has health insurance, the court may still order that the parties obtain health insurance for the child(ren).  Parties in such a circumstance can apply for coverage through the state.
            For a spouse who is does not have health insurance available through their employer, it is highly recommended to research options and costs to obtain coverage once the divorce is finalized. COBRA is an option for a spouse looking for coverage however, this can very expensive and is only available for up to 36 months.  Parties going through divorce should make arrangements prior to the finalization of their divorce to ensure there is no period they are without medical insurance.
The following article has additional information and discussion on this topic:
At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to assist with your family law needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce, custody, support, or any other family law concerns contact our firm at 317.569.2200 or

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