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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.

Medicare

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:

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Figuring Out Health Insurance After DivorceOne of your first considerations after filing for divorce should be how it will affect your health insurance coverage because most spouses share an insurance plan. If your insurance plan is through your employer, you have little to worry about. You may be able to switch to a cheaper plan if you do not have children to cover. If you were on your former spouse’s health insurance plan, you will lose your insurance coverage. There are several ways to continue your health insurance after divorce, though some plans are expensive.

Joining an Employee Plan

Your own employer should be the first source you consider when looking for health insurance coverage. If your employer provides health insurance, you have likely been notified each year of your option to sign up for the employee plan during the open enrollment period. Your divorce is a qualifying event that allows you to enroll for employee health insurance at any time of the year, as long as you make the request within 30 days after filing for divorce. Employee health insurance is likely the most affordable and stable option you can have.

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