During the course of a marriage, one spouse often carries the health insurance for the entire family. After a marriage ends, one factor that affects child support has to do with which parent provides health insurance for the minor children.
Health insurance impacts other areas when going through a divorce, too. After a divorce, a spouse previously covered by their partner’s insurance typically no longer has coverage. This generally means that they will need to get their own insurance.
It is important to note that during the pendency of the divorce, statutory injunctions come into play as follows:
“Voluntarily canceling, modifying, terminating, assigning or allowing to lapse for nonpayment of premiums, any insurance policy, including but not limited to life, health, disability, homeowners, renters and automobile, where such insurance policy provides coverage to either of the parties, or that names either of the parties as beneficiaries without the consent of the other party or an order of the court.”
What does that mean in English? Basically, while the divorce is pending, no changes should be made to health insurance coverage.
After beginning the divorce process, Tennessee law gives notice sixty days in advance as follows:
“The parties shall not be eligible for continuing coverage under the other party’s existing health insurance policy, effective on the date of the entry of the final decree of divorce in this cause of action. The parties may have availability of insurance under COBRA’s continuation provisions, provisions available to former spouses of enlisted personnel, or they may be able to apply coverage through a separate source of insurance.”
COBRA coverage is a federal program that may allow you to remain covered if you pay the premiums. If your spouse provides your insurance, determine if you can obtain COBRA coverage after filing for divorce.
You may also have other options if your spouse’s insurance is provided through the military. However, if you do not have these options, then it is important to determine what the cost will be for you to obtain insurance independently.
The information in this article was compiled and written by Melanie Hogg.