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Who Pays for Medical Insurance After Divorce?

Health insurance is a big expense for many families. Typically, one spouse is offered health insurance through his or her work and the policy provides coverage for the whole family (including spouses and children). When this is not the case, the couple may purchase a policy on the health insurance exchange or otherwise buy private coverage. medical-cross-4-971654-m

When a couple divorces, the issue of medical insurance after divorce becomes even more complicated. It is important for everyone to be covered whenever possible to avoid huge unexpected medical expenses. This means that plans must be made regarding how medical insurance is to be paid for. An Irvine, CA divorce lawyer can help you to make a determination regarding how medical insurance costs will be covered after divorce.

Who Pays for Medical Insurance After Divorce?

After divorce, typically each spouse will pay for his or her own medical insurance coverage. If you were previously covered under your spouse’s employer policy, you will no longer be extended this coverage. COBRA may allow you to buy in to the group policy for a period of time after divorce but 100 percent of the premium cost will need to be paid (the employer will no longer subsidize part of your premiums when you have divorced your working spouse).  The Affordable Care Act also specifies that a person who has divorced becomes eligible to buy health insurance coverage on the state exchange (and qualify for subsidies based on income) even if he or she is outside of the normal enrollment period.

If you are concerned about the high costs of getting insurance for yourself, you may wish to try to negotiate as part of your divorce settlement that your spouse will continue paying the premiums. However, there is no guarantee that your spouse will agree to this or that the court will order it, so you are likely on your own as far as securing your own medical insurance after divorce.

When it comes to children, however, parents remain responsible for ensuring that a child is covered. According to California Family Code Section 3751, a support order that is issued by the court should include a provision requiring the person paying child support to keep the support enforcement agency aware of whether the child has health insurance.

Health insurance must be obtained for a child by either or both parents if the insurance is available either at no cost or at a reasonable cost to the parent. The family code makes clear that if the cost of insurance does not exceed five percent of the parent’s gross income, this creates a rebuttable presumption that paying for health insurance for the child is affordable.

The five percent is calculated on the basis of the difference between insuring one’s self only and procuring family coverage.  If health insurance coverage is not available at a reasonable cost, the support order should specify that insurance will be obtained as soon as it becomes available to either parent at a reasonable cost.

Getting your kids covered is very important and the expert Southern California divorce lawyers at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP will help you to make sure you understand your rights and obligations when it comes to medical insurance after a divorce. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more. 714-505-3000