Health Insurance After a Divorce: Who Provides It?
By: M. Scott Gordon
After you have filed for divorce, you likely have many different questions about your finances and how financial matters will be settled between yourself and your spouse. When you have kids with your spouse, financial questions can become even more pressing. While your first major concern when it comes to finances likely revolves around property division and your marital assets, you may quickly begin thinking about health insurance and how you will pay for it after the divorce. This question is a particularly prominent one for anyone who was on his or her spouse’s health insurance plan during the marriage, as well as for anyone with children who needs to consider which parent will provide the child’s health insurance.
We will tell you more about how divorce affects a spouse’s health insurance, and we will provide you with more information about how health insurance costs work for children.
Health Insurance for a Divorced Spouse
Most married couples share a health insurance provider. In most situations, the couple’s insurance is provided through one of the spouse’s employer. In other words, one of the spouses will have an “individual plus one” health insurance plan to cover both parties, or, if there are children from the marriage, one of the spouses will have a family coverage plan. For most individuals, health insurance is not free. Instead, the spouse whose employer provides the insurance will pay a premium each month, and the employer will also contribute.
When there are no children and both parties are covered through an individual plus one plan, can both spouses remain on that health insurance plan after divorce? In most cases, the answer is no. If Spouse A was covered through Spouse B’s plan, then Spouse A will lose health insurance coverage. If Spouse A does not have an option for coverage through his or her employer, it will be important to look into alternate options for getting health insurance. It is important to know that the decision to drop a spouse from a health insurance plan is not the decision of the court or of the other spouse. In most cases, the insurance policy will have language that makes clear an ex-spouse is not eligible for coverage.
At the same time, health insurance coverage typically continues until the divorce is finalized. As such, Spouse A in the hypothetical situation described above would not need to find alternate health insurance until the date of the final divorce decree.
Who Pays for Your Child’s Health Insurance After a Divorce?
While an ex-spouse is most likely to be dropped from an insurance policy, children can remain on one parent’s insurance after divorce. But is that parent required to pay for health insurance for the children on his or her own, or does this get factored into child support and the new Illinois income shares model?
Health insurance is not included in the expenditure table for calculating child support, but the court nonetheless will take steps to ensure that health insurance for the kids is divided fairly between the parents.
According to a fact sheet on child support from Illinois.gov, “if either parent currently provides health insurance and/or both parents agree that health insurance should be provided by one of the parents through a policy available to them, the cost of the health insurance will be pro-rated between the parents and the parent carrying the insurance will receive credit from the other parent.”
Learn More from a Chicago Family Lawyer
If you have questions about support and health insurance, a Chicago family law attorney can help. Contact M. Scott Gordon & Associates today for more information.