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How Will Your Divorce Impact Your Health Insurance in NY?

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Divorce Long Island, NY

When you decide to get divorced on Long Island, New York, you are will face many changes and new challenges in your life. While it might not be at the forefront of your mind during this difficult time, health insurance coverage is important to consider now and for your future.

In many marriages, one spouse depends on the other for health insurance – for instance, you or your partner may receive coverage through a plan offered by the other’s employer. So what happens to your health insurance in a divorce? When will these changes occur? Will you be required to provide coverage for your spouse? In this guide to health insurance after divorce, we will address these questions.

Health Insurance Coverage After Divorce on Long Island, New York

In many divorce proceedings, health insurance coverage can be a contentious issue. But the good news is some protections keep the rug from being pulled out from under your feet. While your divorce is pending, you will more than likely still be covered.

That is due to federal protections called automatic temporary restraining orders (ATROs). When one party files for divorce, ATROs take effect and prohibit either spouse from changing the beneficiaries listed on their health insurance policies. This protection encompasses a full range of health plans, including those from an employer, individual plans purchased via marketplace, and Medicaid.

Once the divorce is final, a spouse can then be removed from a health insurance plan. At that point, however, there are some options to ensure that you or your spouse retains the necessary coverage to meet your needs.

How to Get Health Insurance After a Long Island, NY Divorce

It is important to keep your health insurance up to date – if you do not have health insurance, you may be unable to see healthcare providers and specialists or receive your prescriptions at an affordable cost. After a divorce on Long Island, New York, you may lose health insurance. However, there are a few different ways to ensure your coverage remains stable.

One option is COBRA, a federal law that allows a divorced spouse to continue coverage under their former spouse’s plan for up to three years. The catch is that these benefits are not automatic. You must elect to partake in COBRA coverage within 60 days of the finalization of your divorce. If you miss this window, you will need to find alternate coverage.

While COBRA might seem like an attractive option, it is often quite expensive. For those without pre-existing conditions that raise health insurance premiums, it can be a better option to price shop on the open market in order to find a plan with more flexibility and lower costs.

One other common pathway is finding out if your employer offers group health insurance. You will have to report your change in marital status to your employer’s HR department. While your divorce finalization date may not fall in the open enrollment period for your company’s health insurance, a change in marital status will qualify you to enroll outside that period. If you are working after your divorce, employer-based health insurance can be an attractive option.

You can also assess whether you are qualified for Medicaid benefits. Medicaid is health insurance provided by the U.S. government to benefit low-income Americans. If you are going to lose health coverage due to your divorce, it may be worth considering a Medicaid application to determine your eligibility. Each state’s requirements are slightly different, but you can check your income eligibility on the New York Department of Health site.

Is Health Insurance Part of a Long Island, NY Divorce Settlement?

In some cases, health insurance coverage can be included in the terms of the divorce settlement. If both spouses have agreed or the judge has issued an order to this effect, one spouse may provide health insurance to the other for a stated period of time.

If you are preparing for a divorce and considering your healthcare options, an experienced divorce attorney can shed more light on your specific situation. Your attorney can help you determine whether your spouse will be required to provide for your health insurance during and after the divorce. Your attorney can also assist you with understanding COBRA benefits and what options you can expect to be available to you after your divorce is final.

Trust Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to Handle Health Insurance in Your Long Island, NY Divorce

We are experienced negotiators and litigators who can help you get the health insurance that you deserve. Contact us to learn more about your legal options or to book your free initial consultation to discuss your case in detail. Call now at 631-923-1910 or complete our short contact form, and we’ll get in touch with you to schedule your consultation.


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About the Author

Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., Founding Partner, Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.

  • Over 20 years practicing matrimonial law
  • Over 1,000 cases successfully resolved
  • Founder and Partner of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.
  • Experienced and compassionate Long Island Divorce Attorney, Family Law Attorney, and Divorce Mediator
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association member
  • Nassau County Bar Association member
  • Suffolk County Bar Association member
  • “Super Lawyer” Metro Rising Star
  • Nominated Best of Long Island Divorce Attorney four consecutive years
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Contributor
  • Collaborative Law Association of New York – Former Director
  • Martindale Hubbell Distinguished Designation
  • America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 5%
  • Lead Counsel Rated – Divorce Law
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys 10 Best
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Graduate of Hofstra University School of Law
  • Double Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics & Law and History from SUNY Binghamton University
Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York
Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
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