Either as the stay-at-home parent who raises the children or as the parent without health insurance provided through their employer, you will have an additional hurdle in the form of finding insurance after your divorce is finalized, provided that you have been covered through your spouse’s group employee plan. Unfortunately, because you cannot stay on your ex’s employer-provided health care plan, you need to take action now to ensure that you are covered from the day after your divorce papers are signed.

In amicable divorces, you will likely have more time (up to 30 days or so) for the policyholder to notify the insurance company of the change. However, not all divorcing couples are so good to one another. It is important to not allow any lapse in medical coverage because you never know when an accident or hidden illness may come out of nowhere. A San Jose divorce attorney can help you through your divorce and answer any questions you may have about health insurance.

Applying for Insurance Through COBRA

COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is a federal program that mandates continued group medical coverage for people who have gone through a major life event, such as divorce. As such, as the ex-spouse of a covered employee, whose employer has at least 20 employees, as long as you are deemed eligible, you can receive continued health insurance on the same plan that you have been on. COBRA allows this continued coverage to last up to 36 months following, so you have one and a half years after the divorce to apply for your own health insurance or receive it through your own employment.

What About My Children?

While you cannot stay on your spouse’s group plan through their work, your children can. Even if your ex-spouse is not covered through their employer, and you are not either, your ex-spouse can be held responsible for paying for all or part of their health insurance. This is based on each parent’s income level and other assets.

The Affordable Healthcare Act

Even since the enactment of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA, and more commonly referred to as Obamacare), health insurance remains expensive. Before the ACA took effect, 18 percent of American adult had no health insurance. Nowadays, that number is around 11 percent, according to CNBC. However, the ACA can drastically reduce the costs that you would have to pay otherwise, and in California, you are eligible for Medicaid as long as you do not make more than $15,800 for a household of one. If you have two children, for example, you and your children will be eligible for Medicaid even if you make up to $26,813 per year.

A San Jose Family Lawyer Can Help

Divorce is complicated, and no one ever said any different about the health care system that we have in the U.S. For more information to ensure that you are covered and that your children remain covered after divorce, do not hesitate to call the dedicated San Jose divorce attorneys at Gemma V. Reyes today.