Divorce is unfortunately the end result of many Plano marriages. When two spouses divorce, health insurance after the divorce – and even during it – is a major concern for some couples. While the spouses can keep their current arrangement during the divorce, if one spouse used the other’s health insurance, he or she has fewer options for coverage after the divorce.
How does divorce affect health insurance during proceedings and afterward?
Immediately after filing for divorce, both parties are prevented by a standing order in Collin County from removing the other from a health insurance policy. There are similar orders in Texas county courts across the state. For Collin County, which includes Plano, the order reads that both parties are ordered to refrain from “©anceling, altering, or in any manner affecting any…health insurance policies insuring the parties’ property of persons including the parties’ minor children.”
So until the divorce is finalized, the spouses can stay on each other’s health insurance. The soonest the divorce can be finalized after one spouse files the petition is 60 days. Most divorces take longer than that depending on how cooperative the spouses are during settlement negotiations. Contentious divorces can take anywhere from six months to a year or longer.
After the divorce is final, if a spouse was on the other’s employee health insurance plan, that company must offer COBRA coverage to the spouse if it has 20 or more employees. COBRA coverage lasts for up to 36 months, and its payments are set at no greater than 102 percent of the employee and employer contribution to the plan for the spouse’s age and health conditions.
The divorced spouse will no longer enjoy the contribution of the employer to the plan; however, this coverage can help bridge the gap to new coverage.
Child Health Insurance Considerations in Divorce
While the ex-spouse will likely no longer be eligible to stay on the other spouse’s healthcare plan, the children may stay on the plan just as they were prior to the divorce.
If the parent paying child support can put the child on his or her employee health insurance plan at a reasonable cost, the judge may order he or she do so. When the parent paying child support doesn’t have an available plan, then the judge may order the other parent to put the child on his or her plan. In the latter case, the other parent may pay the custodial parent the cost of the premium to put the child on his or her plan.
The judge may order a split in any remaining medical costs after health insurance, such as copayments or deductibles.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Divorce
Divorce includes other important considerations like division of marital property, child custody, and child support. Your divorce may contain other important and sometimes contentious points. Having an attorney to represent your interests in a divorce is a good idea for most parties. Even if you decide to pursue mediation, it’s a good idea to have an attorney review any agreement you reach.
An attorney at Warren & Migliaccio can represent your interests throughout the divorce process in Plano. Contact our office at 888-584-9614 to schedule a free consultation.