It’s no secret that health insurance can be extremely expensive and difficult to obtain.

Maintaining health insurance can be a serious concern for spouses going through a divorce, and this is especially true for covered children. Knowing your rights and responsibilities when it comes to health insurance is important.

During the divorce, very few changes can be made to the health insurance coverage for the spouses or the children. Federal law prevents an insurer from dropping the spouses or children from health insurance coverage merely because of a pending divorce. In addition, the spouses themselves are prohibited from making unilateral changes to coverage while the divorce is pending. For couples in a contentious divorce, this includes an automatic restraining order that prevents spouses from changing or cancelling insurance policies in effect at the time the divorce is filed.

In a Diyvorce, you and your spouse are working through these issues together, and neither of you wants to harm the other. But it is important to not make unilateral changes to insurance policies while you’re working through this process.

Health insurance coverage can and most likely will change after the divorce is final. After the court paperwork is complete, an ex-spouse who was on the other one’s health insurance can often continue health insurance coverage using the COBRA provision. That person is responsible for paying the cost of the policy, without any benefit of the part that might have been covered by the former spouse’s employer.

If there are children covered by health insurance, one of you will have to continue to carry the children on your insurance plan, or get them one through the state or another provider. The parent who provides coverage is not always the primary custodian. The cost of the health insurance policy for the children is divided between the parents based upon their respective incomes, though you and your spouse can certainly come to your own arrangements.

At Diyvorce, our professionals have extensive experience in helping clients figure out health insurance questions during and after the divorce. Register today to gain access to additional information and assistance.