Post-Divorce Health Insurance in Florida
While one spouse may be court-ordered to maintain the health insurance for the children after the divorce, he or she is not responsible for maintaining the health insurance for the other spouse. Since there must be no gap in coverage, consider your options, and discuss health insurance early in divorce negotiations.
Spouses commonly maintain health insurance coverage on one or the other’s employer plans during the marriage. You don’t want to be left without health insurance coverage after your divorce if you are not the health insurance policyholder. It would be best if you were prepared for that transition, so you do not lose your coverage altogether.
You will have to find a new policy, which can include single-person coverage through:
- Employee policies available through your job
- Private insurance coverage
- Federal COBRA coverage
If there are children involved, their coverage will be determined as part of the parenting and child support obligations set forth in the parent’s agreements or divorce decree.
Divorce and COBRA Insurance
If your spouse works for a company that employs 20 or more people, your spouse may be court-ordered to provide (temporary) continued health insurance coverage under his employer’s plan through “COBRA” (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).
To receive coverage under COBRA after a divorce, the non-employee spouse must notify the health plan administrator within 60 days of becoming divorced. If you don’t give the administrator proper notice, you will not be eligible for COBRA coverage.
Under the law, COBRA coverage for a former spouse can only last for a maximum of 36 months, regardless of the circumstances or situation of the individual or couple.
One issue to consider for COBRA is the typically higher cost. Many group health plans are subsidized (or partially subsidized) by the employer. Under COBRA, you will be responsible for the entire amount of the premium.
If you have questions about obtaining new health insurance after the COBRA coverage expires, you should contact someone knowledgeable about the different kinds of health insurance plans available in your area, or go online.
How Does the Cost of My Children’s Health Insurance Affect Florida Child Support?
Having health insurance is crucial today, mainly where children are involved. Florida law requires one parent, often the one ordered by the court to pay child support, to provide health insurance for a child following a divorce, as long as the cost is reasonable and the coverage is accessible.
Typically in Florida, the parent who is court-ordered to maintain health insurance for the child(ren) may receive a credit for said payment in the calculation of child support on the child support worksheet, which may lower the child support obligation.
Talk to a Florida Divorce Attorney
To learn more about court-ordered health insurance and divorce in Florida, consider consulting a knowledgeable local divorce lawyer.