After a divorce, some people may be wondering if their health insurance will be canceled, especially if they’re a beneficiary of their ex-spouse’s healthcare policy. In Colorado and all other states across the country, an employer will no longer cover the ex-spouse of their employee after the divorce proceedings have been finalized.
However, under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA, the dependent spouse has the right to continue coverage. They’re required to notify the insurance provider or health plan administrator within 60 days after the issuance of the divorce decree if they plan to continue paying for the insurance premiums.
If you’re struggling to understand complicated legal rules surrounding divorce, contact a Colorado divorce lawyer at Goldman Law for help.
Can You Stay on Your Spouse’s Health Insurance After Divorce?
According to the Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-107 (4)(b)(I)(D), a spouse and any dependent children are protected from any modifications or cancellations to their health insurance while the divorce proceedings are still in progress. The ex-spouse is also not allowed to let the plan lapse by refusing to pay for the premiums.
However, once the divorce is finalized, the dependent spouse can choose to keep their existing health insurance for some time or to find other options, including the following:
- If the dependent spouse is working, they may qualify for their coverage. It’s best to speak with the human resources manager to determine eligibility and the amount that will be deducted from their paycheck every month.
- If the dependent spouse isn’t working or cannot afford COBRA premiums, they may seek other plans in the health insurance marketplace. There are plenty of insurers offering a wide range of plans in both the state and federal marketplaces.
- There are also private health insurance options that offer short-term plans and plans that provide up to a year of coverage.
How Long Can a Divorced Spouse Stay on Insurance?
As mentioned above, COBRA allows a dependent spouse to continue receiving coverage for up to 36 months after the divorce, as long as they pay the required premiums or fees. The employer should also have at least 20 employees to qualify for this benefit, so it’s a good idea for the parties to contact the employer and verify coverage and eligibility in writing or email.
If the employer has less than 20 employees, the dependent spouse may still qualify for coverage under state-specific mini-COBRA laws. In Colorado, the Title 10 Insurance Health Care Coverage law allows the continuation of employer-sponsored health insurance for both workers and their dependents, under certain conditions.
Contact a CO Divorce Lawyer for Help
Health insurance can be a major source of stress after a divorce. To better understand your health insurance options, contact a qualified and experienced divorce attorney today. They’ll help you understand and assess your options, assist you in making sure that your needs are well-met following a divorce, and find solutions that work best for you and your family.
Call us today at (303) 656-9529 to schedule a confidential consultation.