Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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What happens to my health insurance in a divorce?

During your marriage, your spouse carried you on his or her health insurance policy. Now that you are in the middle of a divorce in Minnesota - you may be wondering what will happen to your health insurance once it is finalized. Divorce can affect your health insurance coverage in a major way. Health insurers allow their policyholders to add their spouses and children and dependents to their coverage as family members. However, Forbes states that once you divorce your spouse, you are no longer related or considered family and will therefore be removed from the policy. Your children are entitled to stay on your ex-spouse's health insurance policy.

Once you start the divorce process, you should contact your health insurer to find out what your options are. You may have the choice of filing for legal separation to keep the health insurance coverage you have through your spouse. However, you should know that divorce and legal separation often mean the same thing to many health insurers and there is no guarantee that this step will keep you insured.

You should plan to start shopping around for health insurance before your divorce is finished. One option that will give you the ability to maintain some type of health care coverage is through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, also known as COBRA. If you decide to use this alternative, keep in mind that COBRA coverage is only available to you for up to three years and is often very expensive. If you end up with a preexisting condition before you find new insurance, you may end up paying more for coverage or classified as uninsurable by many health insurers.

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