Sorting through the details of your divorce can be overwhelming at a time when so much is changing in your life. It’s critical to work with experts who can help you sort through decisions ranging from health care options to whether you should rent or buy a home. When it comes to health insurance, we’ve put together a list of top questions many divorcees ask when sorting through how to manage coverage post-divorce. Always consult with a local specialist in your area for questions that might be unique to your situation Can I cancel my spouse’s health insurance on my group plan? You can only remove your spouse from your health insurance once your divorce is finalized. If you have a mutual agreement in place prior to that time, you may remove them in accordance with that mutual agreement. Can I stay on my spouse’s plan if we agree to those terms in our decree? In Colorado, and all other states across the country, an employer will no longer cover an employee’s ex spouse after the divorce agreement has been finalized. Some plans may allow for employees to keep spouses on their plans who are legally separated and not divorced. In these incidences, check with your HR or benefits department. What are my health insurance options after divorce? Most individuals have three main healthcare options post-divorce: 1. A group policy through employment benefits is usually the best option because cost and premiums are typically shared with an employer. Therefore, they are substantially less expensive. Self-employed individuals can qualify for a group policy even if they have no employees. 2. The open marketplace can sometimes provide competitive options. In Colorado, you can review those options at Connect for Health. 3. COBRA includes a limited continuation of current coverage through the previous spouse’s health plan. This is typically the most expensive option. How much will insurance cost on the open marketplace? The cost depends on your income, family size, plan type, and the coverage options. You can explore plans here. Your options also depend on your health insurance risk tolerance. You may decide to risk more with a higher deductible plan if you are healthy, or have more cash available to you in case of a healthcare emergency. You may want to play it safe and choose a lower deductible plan if you anticipate a lot of healthcare expenses this year. The cost depends on your income, family size, plan type, and the coverage options. You can explore plans here. Your options also depend on your health insurance risk tolerance. You may decide to risk more with a higher deductible plan if you are healthy, or have more cash available to you in case of a healthcare emergency. You may want to play it safe and choose a lower deductible plan if you anticipate a lot of healthcare expenses this year. How much does COBRA cost? COBRA tends to be the most expensive insurance option but it also guarantees the continuation of care with current providers and healthcare benefits. Usually, the recipient of COBRA pays the entire premium amount, which is the total of the employer’s and employee’s share. How long does COBRA last? COBRA can last up to 36 months (3 years) when it’s available due to divorce When should I sign up for COBRA? You have 60 days to enroll in COBRA from the time the plan administrator notifies you of the COBRA coverage availability. When can I get a new health insurance plan? If you are obtaining a new plan through your employer, you are eligible for a new group plan based on your company’s policy. Because divorce is considered a qualifying life event, such conditions allow you to change insurance mid-year or outside a designated enrollment period. If you are choosing the open marketplace, you have 60 days to enroll once your divorce is finalized. If you fail to act during that window, you must wait until the traditional open enrollment period, which is November 1st through January 15th each year. Health insurance questions are one of the many categories of questions you’ll have as you make changes in your life post-divorce. Working the cost of insurance into your budget is critical to success post-divorce. This expense should be considered while working through divorce negotiations because it can represent a substantial need. Lean on a team of experts to help you make important healthcare insurance decisions, or take advantage of free resources related to health insurance, which can set you up for success. Discuss possible tax breaks with these advisors, which might be available based on the type of play you chose.