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What happens to your health insurance during your divorce?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2023 | Divorce

During a bitter divorce, it is not uncommon for an angry or vengeful spouse to make threats. While some of your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s threats might have merit, others are likely meaningless. A threat to kick you off a health insurance plan falls into the latter category.

Even if you are mostly healthy, you must have health insurance. After all, according to reporting from CBS News, it costs more than $3,000 just to walk into an emergency room in New Jersey. Luckily, when your divorce is pending, your spouse cannot cut off your health insurance.

Automatic temporary restraining orders

In the Garden State, judges issue automatic temporary restraining orders during divorce proceedings. These orders require both spouses to maintain the status quo until their divorces conclude. Among other things, a TRO prohibits one spouse from removing the other spouse from his or her health insurance plan.

Your post-divorce insurance coverage

Even though a TRO protects your health insurance during your divorce, it does not provide protections after your divorce becomes final. Therefore, when you officially become an ex-spouse, you will no longer qualify as a beneficiary under your spouse’s plan.

If your employer offers a comprehensive benefits package, you might be able to obtain health insurance through your own employer. You also may qualify for short-term coverage through the Consolidated Omnibudget Reconciliation Act, commonly called COBRA. The federal government’s health care marketplace even might offer you a reasonably priced plan.

Ultimately, though, because your health insurance will likely end in the not-too-distant future, it probably makes sense to begin exploring your options immediately.


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