Even if you are healthy and active, having health insurance is critical. After all, a catastrophic injury or sudden illness may require hospitalization, expensive procedures or costly medications. If you do not have sufficient health coverage, an unexpected event may leave you thousands of dollars or more in debt.
If you are on your spouse’s plan, you may wonder what happens to your coverage after your divorce. While you can likely address health insurance during your settlement negotiations, you may have four options for securing health insurance.
1. Your employer’s health insurance
Your employer may offer health coverage to its employees. If so, you may want to explore obtaining insurance at your workplace. Someone in human resources can probably guide you through the process, including ensuring you meet enrollment deadlines.
2. The Affordable Care Act
Often called Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act provides health coverage to individuals through Pennsylvania’s exchange. If you lose your health coverage because of a major life event, such as a divorce, you can typically purchase insurance during special enrollment. You must act quickly, though, as you may only have 60 days to obtain coverage.
While your divorce may require you to leave your spouse’s health insurance, you may be eligible for continuing coverage under COBRA. This coverage may last for up to three years, although you may find it to be prohibitively expensive.
4. Short-term coverage
If you only need short-term coverage until another health plan kicks in, you may want to look into a temporary policy. This type of health insurance is usually available immediately, but individuals with pre-existing conditions may not be eligible.
You have a lot on your plate during your divorce, including dividing marital assets and considering spousal support. Placing securing health insurance coverage high on your to-do list may insulate you from financial ruin.