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Health Insurance After Divorce: What Are Your Options?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2020 | Divorce |

When going through a divorce there are a lot of things to consider, one of which is health insurance coverage. Many married couples are covered by one of the spouses employer provided health insurance plans and upon divorce one spouse is left needing coverage.

The writers at Health Care Insider have provided readers with a helpful guide on health insurance options after divorce, including the following options:

  • Employer Health Insurance Plan
  • ACA/Obamacare Health Plan
  • Short-Term Health Insurance


COBRA covers an individual for 18 to 36 months, allowing one to obtain more long-term coverage while they get back on their feet after a divorce. If you are intending to apply for COBRA, you need to ensure your ex-spouse worked for an employer with 20 or more employees. If they do not, then you will need to determine whether your state has “mini-COBRA” for employers having less than 20 employees. One must apply for COBRA within 60 days to qualify for the same plan they were previous under through their spouse’s employee health insurance plan.

Employer Health Insurance Plan

Another avenue of coverage is through your current employer. Although there are often specific time periods in which to enroll, sometimes a divorce constitutes a life event that can grant one access to enrollment. This option can often be more cost effective than COBRA.

ACA/ Obamacare Health Plan

Individuals can also enroll in an ACA/Obamacare Health Plan within 60 days of their divorce. If the 60 days passes then you can enroll during the open enrollment period which typically occurs at the end of the year.

Short-Term Health Insurance

This option is best if you believe you will likely receive health insurance through an employer in the near future. Under this option, you cannot have pre-existing conditions, coverage is available the day after you apply, and coverage typically lasts between 6 to 12 months.

Additional health insurance options are also available throughout the divorce process.

Divorce is a difficult time for both parties but it is important that each party ensures they are prepared as they enter the next phase of life. Health insurance is an important step towards independence and can be an easy transition with the right information and guidance.