HEALTH INSURANCE AFTER DIVORCE

A divorced spouse who wishes to take advantage of this law should act as soon as the divorce is final or as soon as the coverage has been lost. He or she should contact the covered worker’s employer (human relations or personnel department) to learn the steps that must be taken, but generally the notification has to be within sixty days of the divorce or loss of coverage. Continued coverage is not automatic. The law provides that the worker’s employer must explain the divorced spouse’s right to continue coverage within fourteen days of being notified, after which the spouse has no more than sixty days to choose to continue the coverage. The employer will advise what coverage is available, its cost, and when payments must be made, as well as any steps that must be taken to establish eligibility for the health insurance. Health care reforms passed by Congress in 1996 make health insurance easier to obtain, particularly if a person is changing jobs. 

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