COBRA Insurance in Montana DivorceMarybeth Sampsel
When considering whether or not to file for divorce, almost everyone considers how their financial circumstances will change and how they will adapt once they are single. In today’s economy, one of the biggest considerations for divorcing individuals is how they will be able to afford health insurance, if at all.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, commonly know as COBRA, permits individuals to stay insured under their spouse’s insurance policy for a period of eighteen months, provided you pay the premium.
The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration explains:
Group health coverage for COBRA participants is usually more expensive than health coverage for active employees, since usually the employer pays a part of the premium for active employees while COBRA participants generally pay the entire premium themselves. It is ordinarily less expensive, though, than individual health coverage.
In the past few months, Congress has been in a heated debate about subsidizing COBRA coverage. The COBRA subsidy would assist individuals by paying up to 65% towards cost of the premiums. Without the 65% assistance, premiums are often prohibitively expensive for unemployed or divorced.
Unfortunately, the Medicaid package that was passed on August 11, 2010, did not include a COBRA subsidy. This means divorced individuals can still receive 18 months of COBRA coverage, but they will need to come up with the full premium payment.
For more information on COBRA coverage, see the United States Department of Labor FAQ’s here.