• Employer-sponsored programs- are one of the best sources
because they are often fully subsidized. There are indemnity
plans, provider and preferred provider plans, or HMOs.
• Individual coverage- available straight from the insurance
company, for individuals. These policies are good because
they allow you to pick and choose the benefits you want. However,
you have to pay for it yourself.
• Medicare- provides basic benefits for all US citizens over
65 with Part A coverage. Part B is a voluntary coverage for
doctor visits, with premiums paid monthly. Medicare covers
about half of the average person’s health care costs, but
it can be augmented with Medigap insurance.
• COBRA coverage- federal law entitles you to keep your or
your spouse’s health care plan even after a job loss or a
divorce. If you were covered on a family plan before the dissolution
of the marriage, then you are still covered under COBRA. However,
the divorced spouse has to pay the premium themselves.
COBRA allows a divorced spouse to maintain their coverage.
If an employer-sponsored program has good coverage, then it’s
a good idea to keep it. COBRA lasts for 36 months, after which
time the spouse must get their own insurance. In some limited
circumstances, COBRA can be extended for an additional year
and a half.
The cost-prohibitive nature of remaining on an ex-spouse’s
health insurance plan leads a lot of couples to legally separate
but not fully divorce. While that situation can be emotionally
stressful and it can keep either partner from going on with
their lives, it can be helpful if one or the other partner
has a serious health condition and needs the insurance coverage.