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health insurance after D?

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ChoosingHope posted 11/7/2013 11:39 AM

Does anyone know how it works if you're on your husband's plan? Do you have to notify the insurance company and tell them to take you off the plan? Is it illegal to stay on the plan for a month after the divorce?

I just got a letter from my health insurance company informing me that my plan doesn't meet the criteria for the new ACA law. Effective Jan. 1. Without getting into politics, I'm trying to figure out what to do next.

I'm looking for a full-time job but know that it will take at least a few months (SAHM for 9 years). Divorce will probably be finalized in January or more likely February.

So I'm likely to have a gap between the divorce and a new policy through work. I'm panicked beyond belief.

Thanks for any advice!!!

Nature_Girl posted 11/7/2013 11:52 AM

Contact the hospital your regular physician is attached to and ask about their programs to help women like you (and me). Explain the situation. Many hospitals have in-house programs.

Gemini71 posted 11/7/2013 11:58 AM

Depending on the state you're in, you may be able to continue with a 'COBRA' version of your coverage through your STBX's insurance. You'll have to pay for it, and it'll be expensive.

Try calling the insurance company and see what the options are. Make sure to let them know your divorce is NOT final and no changes should be made yet.

Also, ask you lawyer what the normal proceedure is. Sometimes this is addressed in the settlement.

sparkysable posted 11/7/2013 12:20 PM

Even though health insurance is not supposed to cover an ex spouse, usually they don't know about it until the person who carries the insurance notifies them to remove the ex spouse.

My state has something called Family Health Plus, where you can get coverage, and they price it based on a sliding scale of your income.

jemimapd posted 11/7/2013 12:26 PM

Speak to your attorney. Everything is negotiable so I would ask for a contribution from your husband. On account of you being a SAHM, your husband has been able to move ahead in a job that gives him health insurance. So you need compensation for the loss of insurance, just as you would a share of his retirement. He'll contest this but you have nothing to lose by asking.

ChoosingHope posted 11/7/2013 13:06 PM

Thanks everyone. STBX is technically self-employed, so I'm worried that BSBS cancelled his policy, too. 300,000 individual plans are being cancelled in my immediate area by Jan. 1.

I guess I start by emailing him to find out if HE will still have insurance. He got his plan before 2010, so it might be grandfathered under the new law.

If so, great. Then I'm wondering if I can find a job before February when the divorce is finalized.

I'll also call BCBS and see if I can extend my plan for a year. I keep reading in the papers that this is sometimes possible. I have no idea if premiums will go up, but have to assume so.

Divorce. Affects every party of your life. Deep breaths. Thanks everyone.

cmego posted 11/7/2013 13:52 PM

Usually health insurance is paid a month in advance, so you may be covered for one month after the D. Check with the administrator.

I am going on COBRA, funded by the ex.

Look into individual plans, some can be rather inexpensive, via school or AAA or other ways. Since I have some health issues, it was important for me to stay with my regular plan and physicians. We negotiated for me to stay on COBRA.

Dreamboat posted 11/7/2013 14:36 PM

You can also look on the state or federal health insurance website (depending upon if you state has it's own plan or is using the feds). The fed website is having problem registering people, but you can look at what is available in your area without registering.

Catwoman posted 11/7/2013 14:52 PM

My ex is legally obligated to carry me on his insurance unless he decides to remarry (in that instance, he us to give me 6 months notice or pay out of pocket I lieu of notice). You may be able to do something like this, depending on the laws of your state.


dmari posted 11/7/2013 16:10 PM

I went back to school part-time and purchased insurance through the school as a student. It's expensive but less than COBRA.

You may want it stipulated that your stbx pay for your COBRA during your job hunt (9-12 months).

Hang in there. The ripple effect of infidelity and divorce is far reaching.

Grace and Flowers posted 11/7/2013 16:21 PM

After divorce, you can stay on your XH's plan through COBRA for 3 years, max. I negotioated that into the divorce settlement so XH pays the premium, $500/month. A year after divorce, I still do not have a job that provides insurance.

I believe COBRA is a federal law that allows you to stay on an existing plan under certain circumstances (like divorce), you just have to pay the full premium. Even if his policy is cancelled, though, you could be able to negotiate having coverage in a settlement.

ChoosingHope posted 11/7/2013 18:44 PM

Thanks everyone.

Cmego, maybe one month will be enough time. I just don't want to risk being without insurance if I don't get a job in time.

I probably didn't make this clear. STBX is technically self-employed, so his policy is probably cancelled too. He just hasn't bothered to tell me yet. Typical.

I don't think that any individual policies are left in my area. I'm officially freaking out, BUT I learned today that I can possibly keep my plan for one more year. Here's the problem: I have to close the plan and re-open it again with different premiums and deductibles. I can only imagine what they will be.

Anyhow, I'm nearly sure that Cobra is no longer an option if your husband has an individual health insurance policy, unfortunately. The timing is just terrible.

I need to get a job asap.

Thanks everyone.

Lost15 posted 11/7/2013 22:03 PM

I have the same concern about health insurance. I have been a SAHM for 8 years and a student until last December when I graduated. I have only found part time employment with no benefits so far. Good luck ChoosingHope.

debbysbaby posted 11/7/2013 22:12 PM

I haven't had health insurance now for over eight years thanks to divorce. I just can't afford it and being self-employed there's just nothing for me. So far that's been alright but for the last couple of months I've been pretty sick. Sick enough to worry I might wind up in the hospital if I can't get over this pneumonia that I've been struggling with. I've already racked up about $700 in Dr. bills in the last two months. And to think that I thought we were covered for life since my ex-husband was military and we were sitting in high cotton with tricare. My health...Just another casualty of his "love".

ChoosingHope posted 11/7/2013 23:15 PM


For everyone else, I'm going to do my best at researching it and muddling through it. If I discover any useful information, I will start a new post and share it. Thank you again, everyone.

peacelovetea posted 11/9/2013 10:22 AM

I bought an individual plan for not too much. The premium, and coverage, are going up with the new changes in health care, but its still cheaper than COBRA would have been. I as SAHM for more than a decade and am now a student full-time so no employer coverage for me.

SeanFLA posted 11/9/2013 11:19 AM

I'm self employed and lost my exWW's insurance upon D. I do pay for my own and shopped around. However I have been attempting since it went online, but alas no progress given the website problems. I think I will be able to cut my insurance premiums in half through the new healthcare laws. It's funny how my premiums went up 20% last year and I didn't have one claim. They did hit me on a minor pre-condition when I signed up that cost me like $100 more per month otherwise. But obviously no preconditions are considered under the new health care law programs. I just need to be patient about their website and hope they fix it soon because I'm really curious on what I can save.

I think since you have a little time shop that marketplace when it is finally up and running properly. Most health insurance companies have all their plans and cost online these days so you can shop deductibles, etc. You can always print them off and take them with you for final D negotiations as to why you need him to contribute more. For now do not underestimate the time it will take you to find the employment you need. Things are not as good out there for job seekers as you may think. It will be a hard road especially since you've been out of the work force for a long time with no recent experience to sell yourself with. If I were you I would plan a minimum of 12 months without proper employment (that has benefits). Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If you haven't started looking seriously I would be applying to everything I can find already. Most companies will begin their hiring sprees in January after the holidays. They will post now, but not really do anything until after Jan 1.

newlysingle posted 11/9/2013 13:39 PM

I'm also SAHM and had to get my own policy after the divorce. The coverage is comparable to what I had through XH's employer. I pay $189 per month. It would have been $400 per month to go on COBRA. Have you tried shopping around for an individual policy? There are a lot of options.

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