NerdWallet: If you’re over 60 and getting divorced, consider your options for health insurance

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  More than 1 in 3 people who divorce in the U.S. are age 50 or older, and 1 in 4 are 65 or older, according to a 2022 analysis published in the Journals of Gerontology.

Divorcing as you near retirement — or after you’ve retired — comes with considerations: Are you (or your spouse) losing health insurance? If you’re retired but not yet eligible for Medicare, where will you find coverage? How does being an ex-spouse affect your Medicare costs? If you have health insurance through your own employer, not much will change, but if you’re on Medicare or your partner’s employer policy, you’ll have to ask some questions. And you may want to help your ex make the transition, if they’re on your policy. Here are the points to consider:Does your employer offer benefits? If you’re still working, does your employer offer health coverage? If so, divorce is considered a life event that will qualify you to make changes to your benefits, such as enrolling in a health insurance plan. You have 30 days after your other coverage ends to request special plan changes.Do you have access to COBRA? If you were covered under your ex-spouse’s employer plan, you can opt in to coverage under COBRA — the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act — for up to 36 months after the divorce. COBRA applies to group plans of employers that have at least 20 employees. “You should expect the insurance cost to be substantially higher, as now you are responsible for paying the entire premium amount,” says Tamara Durbin, a certified financial planner in Huntington Beach, California. The decision to opt into COBRA partially depends on your ex-spouse’s coverage, says Crystal Cox, a CFP in Madison, Wisconsin. “My husband’s health insurance is amazing,” she says. “If we were to get divorced, I wo …

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