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Can I stay on my ex's health insurance plan after our divorce?

When couples are divorcing, one of the most important things they must decide is how the property will be divided. Some assets can be divided in half, and other assets are only of interest to one spouse. But what do you do with assets that both spouses need and only one spouse can keep?

One of the best examples in Clark County is health insurance. Once a couple's divorce is finalized, only one spouse can stay on the insurance policy. Although the children can stay on the policy, the other spouse needs to find new coverage quickly.

If you are the spouse who needs to find a new insurance plan, it can be helpful to know that there are a few options.

First, if you work at a company that offers health insurance benefits, you may want to sign up for that coverage. However, if you have been a stay-at-home parent or if your job does not offer health benefits, there are other options.

Once your divorce is finalized, you can qualify for COBRA coverage. Although COBRA will offer immediate coverage, you should still look for another plan. COBRA coverage only lasts 36 months. More importantly, if you develop a health condition while you're receiving coverage from COBRA, it may be difficult to find a new provider. If you do find a new plan, it will likely be accompanied by high premiums.

If you do not have another permanent health insurance plan lined up, it's a good idea for your kids to stay on your spouse's plan. However, during the divorce, you should talk about who will be responsible for paying the premiums. Your divorce attorney may have suggestions about a fair way to divide the payments in your situation.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Questions: Can I Still Get Medical Insurance From My Ex After Divorce?" Jeffrey A. Landers, May 7, 2012

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