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How Does Divorce Affect Child Health Insurance?

What if Neither Spouse Has Group Coverage?

If neither you nor your spouse has access to group coverage than you’ll need to agree how you’ll be splitting the costs of healthcare.


What if One Spouse Has Group Coverage?


In this case, normally the parent who has group health coverage will continue to provide health insurance for the children. However, if there are health insurance premiums that need to be paid to keep the health insurance active, the payment may be the responsibility of one or the other parent, or a combination of both parents.


What if Both Spouses Have Group Coverage?


The best scenario is when you and your ex-spouse must decide who has the primary plan and who has the secondary plan for your children, and you both have your own existing health insurance coverage that will continue.  In this case your children is likely eligible stay on both plans. Your insurance companies can help you figure out which plan is primary and which is secondary for your children.

Considerations for Each Spouse

After a divorce, the non-primary spouse on a plan may become ineligible for group coverage. In that situation, COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) may be a good option as it can be accessed by anyone going through divorce or legal separation who is losing coverage from a spouse’s group health insurance plan. In addition, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) you may be eligible for subsidies to offset insurance costs.


What About Other Medical Costs Not Covered by Insurance?


In addition to assigning responsibilities for the cost of the health insurance premiums and maintaining group coverage, you and your ex-spouse also need to decide who will pay for the co-pays and medical expenses which are not covered by insurance. This information should also be included in your Divorce Settlement Agreement.