Divorce and Your Health Insurance

The most commonly associated legal effect of divorce in North Carolina is the dissolution of a marriage which entitles both former spouses to remarry at a later date. However, while this may be the chief legal effect of a Judgment of Divorce in North Carolina Family Law, there are other important considerations as well. One area to keep in mind is the effect a Judgment of Divorce will have on your or your spouse’s health insurance coverage.

Considering the rising costs of health insurance coverage and the high cost of medical treatment for those without insurance coverage, it is imperative to be knowledgeable about the effect of a divorce on your particular plan and protect yourself accordingly.

If you or your spouse provides health insurance coverage for the other through your employer or other means, a divorce will most likely terminate that coverage. The vast majority of private health insurance plans available in North Carolina do not permit ongoing coverage for former spouses following the entry of a Judgment of Divorce. Many Separation Agreements and Court Orders are crafted to require one spouse to provide ongoing insurance coverage for the other during the term of separation, which is permitted under most private health insurance plans. Even without any terminating factors included, the private insurance plan will likely cancel coverage upon notice of the entry of a Judgment of Divorce.

If one spouse relies on the other for insurance, there are other ways to ensure ongoing health coverage following a Divorce Judgment. A common term in a Separation Agreement requires the spouse providing insurance to continue to do so until the entry of a Divorce Judgment, but also requires that spouse to purchase or provide funds for a separate insurance policy for the other spouse after the date of divorce. These after-divorce requires for a spouse to acquire or maintain insurance coverage can be a smart idea for someone re-entering the workforce or for someone who is not offered insurance coverage through their employer.

We often hear the phrase “simple divorce”, and while obtaining a Judgment of Divorce is one of the more straight-forward processes in North Carolina Family Law, there are complicating factors and effects of divorce, such as the termination of health insurance coverage, which can cause significant harm if not properly protected. To speak with someone today about filing for divorce in North Carolina and the effects of divorce, please call us today at (704) 810-1400.

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