Health insurance considerations when divorcing a federal employee

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Divorce

If you’ve been on your soon-to-be ex’s Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plan, it’s crucial to know what you need to do to maintain your health insurance coverage after your divorce. That’s assuming you aren’t a federal employee or retiree yourself.  

Unlike those on their spouse’s employee-sponsored plan offered by a private sector company, you can have continued coverage after the divorce if you choose – and if you meet the requirements under the Spouse Equity Act. 

Do you qualify for continued FEHB coverage?

The former spouse of a federal employee or retiree can have their own FEHB coverage as long as: 

  • They were covered under the spouse’s Self and Family plan or Self Plus One plan for at least one day during the 18 months prior to the divorce.
  • They met the qualifications to receive a portion of their spouse’s federal retirement or survivor annuity.

Former spouses who qualify can continue to receive FEHB coverage as long as they don’t remarry prior to the age of 55.

If you don’t meet the requirements, you can still obtain a temporary continuation of coverage (TCC). You can keep your TCC for as long as three years after the date of your divorce decree. 

You will pay more for any FEHB coverage you have after divorce because you are required to pay the share the government covers for its employees and family members. Therefore, it’s wise to do some price and benefit comparisons with plans available through your own employer, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or through other sources.

Don’t wait too long. You have just 60 days to apply for continued benefits after the divorce is finalized.

FEHB coverage for your children

Your spouse can continue to keep your kids on their FEHB insurance until they reach the age of 26. You can choose to include them in your new plan, although that will likely be more costly. The important thing is to work out whose plan they’ll be on and who will pay for it. Typically, that’s discussed in working out the child support agreement.

There’s a lot to think about as you divorce. Health insurance may not be your biggest concern, but it should not be neglected until it’s too late. Having legal guidance can help you manage all the decisions you need to make.



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