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Divorce And COBRA


by Meriwether & Tharp LLP

If you have been on your spouses' health insurance policy during your marriage, you will most likely not be able to remain on the policy after the divorce. Conversely, if you have traditionally carried your spouse on your health insurance policy, you will most likely not be able to continue that coverage, even if you want to do so. This is because divorce is considered to be a qualifying event terminating coverage for a former spouse.

This does not mean that an unemployed spouse will be without health insurance coverage. A person who has been on his or her spouse's health insurance policy may have the right to apply for health benefits through the former spouse's current place of employment. Pursuant to COBRA legislation, non-employee spouses may be eligible for certain insurance coverage at group rates after the divorce is final. The insurance can continue up to 36 months, depending on your situation and the premiums should not exceed 105% of the current group rate.

However, a divorced spouse under the terms of a group insurance policy has only thirty (30) days from the date of the divorce to apply and pay for additional conversion policy for himself/herself and sixty (60) days from the date of the qualifying event, such as a divorce, to notify the health insurance administrator for purposes of continuation coverage. Only if you file within that time period will you be eligible for COBRA coverage. Please check with your former spouse or through their employer immediately, as federal statutes and deadlines may (and often do) change.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The law firm of Meriwether & Tharp was established in 1998 in Norcross, Georgia by partners Patrick L. Meriwether and Robert L. Tharp. In 2000, the offices were relocated from Norcross to Alpharetta, Georgia and the firm began expanding its professional staff and focusing its practice on family and business law matters, including divorce, contempt, and modification actions. At Meriwether & Tharp our experienced family law attorneys recognize that domestic troubles can be emotionally and financially taxing. Our lawyers provide personal, individualized legal services, covering the full spectrum of family law issues.

They can be contacted by phone at (678) 879-9000 or
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