Navigating Your Health Insurance Options in Wisconsin After Divorce
People who have gone through divorce face many decisions. One of the most important decisions is to choose the right health insurance option – especially for those who had been covered by their former spouse’s employer health insurance plan.
In this case, it’s important to know the health insurance options available to you in Wisconsin.
- Divorce entitles you to a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you lose coverage as a result of your divorce. This means that you can shop for and buy health insurance within 60 days of your divorce. View your insurance options. Also, depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for subsidies to help pay for insurance.
- You may have the option to stay on your former spouse’s plan through COBRA health insurance. COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) extends the coverage from your former spouse’s employer for another 36 months. It’s important to note that either you or your former spouse will have to pay the full cost of this coverage. Health insurance subsidies do not apply to COBRA.
If you choose COBRA, it’s good to know that once this coverage ends, you are eligible to purchase your own health insurance plan within 60 days (losing COBRA coverage qualifies as a SEP). However, if you choose to end your COBRA coverage early, you won’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You will have to wait until open enrollment to buy health insurance. In addition, if your period of being uninsured is longer than three months, you may also be liable to pay a fine for not having health insurance.
- You may have the option to stay on your former spouse’s plan under Wisconsin continuation rights. Wisconsin law allows individuals who have been continuously covered under a group health insurance policy for at least three months, and whose coverage ends due to divorce or annulment, to continue coverage until certain events occur.
- You may qualify for BadgerCare Plus, Wisconsin’s version of Medicaid. If you qualify, you can apply any time of the year. Find out if you qualify.
Going through a divorce is difficult. If you have questions about your health insurance options, Unity can help. Give our friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives a call at 800.362.3310.