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Obtaining Health Insurance After Gray Divorce

 Posted on March 06, 2019 in Divorce

Obtaining Health Insurance After Gray DivorceYour medical needs and their related expenses increase as you approach the age of becoming a senior citizen. This means health insurance is a vital issue during a gray divorce, a term that describes divorce between spouses that are age 50 and older. You need continued coverage, but it may be more expensive for you than for younger people who are divorcing. You must consider your health insurance expenses when negotiating your divorce agreement.

Coverage Change

Getting older typically means more frequent visits with doctors. You are also more likely to need an expensive medical procedure and be prescribed regular medication. Losing your health insurance would be devastating to your personal finances because you would be paying those expenses out-of-pocket. Getting divorced may change how you receive and what you pay for your health insurance. If you are already on Medicare, you can continue with that coverage. Otherwise, you will need to sign up for:

  • Medicare coverage;
  • Spousal Continuation Coverage;
  • Coverage through your own employer; or
  • Individual coverage through the health insurance marketplace.


You will qualify to receive Medicare once you turn 65 but may be charged a premium for the coverage if you have not worked 40 quarters during your career, which is roughly 10 years. If your former spouse worked the requisite number of quarters, you can receive benefits from his or her Medicare plan, as long as you:

  • Were married for at least 10 years;
  • Remain unmarried; and
  • Are at least 62.

Continuation Coverage

Illinois’ Spousal Continuation Coverage law allows you to remain on your former spouse’s group health insurance plan. If you are younger than 55, you are limited to two years of continuation coverage. If you are 55 or older, you can continue on your former spouse’s health insurance until you qualify for Medicare. However, continuation coverage can be costly:

  • For the first two years, you must pay the employee’s contribution amount, the employer’s contribution amount, and the entire premium; and
  • If you continue the coverage past two years, the insurer may add a 20 percent administration fee to the premium.

Many divorcees use continuation coverage as a stop-gap measure until they are able to find their own health insurance plan.

Contact a Warrenville Divorce Attorney

Individual health insurance plans can be expensive for people who are older than 50 because the insurer considers them to be higher-risk clients. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you determine your most affordable health insurance option. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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