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Family law policy and health insurance

Breaking up with a spouse can leave a person with financial challenges. For an ex-spouse who has previously been on a partner's health insurance plan, the end of a marriage can also mean the end of the health insurance. Both Texas state and federal family law policies give some insight to how divorce will affect an individual's health insurance coverage.

When on a soon-to-be ex-partner's health insurance policy, a divorce will end one's eligibility for coverage. The filing of the divorce typically does not end coverage, but the finalization will. Most state laws will put a freeze on health insurance coverage, as well as other assets, when the initial marital dissolution is filed. Legal separation may preserve the ability to remain on a partner's insurance, but the individual should first determine if a separation makes sense for the situation. 

Once the divorce is final, there are no permanent ways to remain on an ex's policy. COBRA insurance is an option for some, but high premiums often prevent individuals from enrolling in this federal program. Luckily, children's coverage isn't likely to be affected by a divorce, and they will be able to stay on their current plan, unless a judge determines that the coverage should be changed for some reason. 

During a divorce, it might be possible to let concerns about health insurance slip through the cracks. It isn't always the first thing people think of when separating from a spouse. Understanding the relevant family law policies can be useful. In Texas, some people choose to consult with an experienced attorney to better understand their options for health care during and after a breakup. 

Source:, "How Does Divorce Affect Health Insurance Coverage?", Jan. 22, 2018

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