COBRA and Keeping Your Kids Insured

In Child Custody, Child Support, Health by Elizabeth Stephenson

Separation and divorce can bring about a great sense of financial uncertainty, which is why it is important to be informed of your options when it comes to anticipating and managing your expenses. One such are is healthcare for your children.

Even with insurance, health care for children is expensive. If you’ve ever had to bring your children to the emergency room or an after-hours clinic, you know exactly what we’re talking about. You may get a giant bill from the facility, and when you think that’s the end of it, you can get bills from the private doctor’s group and from labs that performed blood work or x-rays. Imagine then, if you had to cover your children’s ongoing and emergency health care without insurance. This is a prospect that arises when parents divorce.

COBRA Helps Insure the Children of Employees

For private employers with 20 or more employees, Congress created the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), which is designed to provide continued group health insurance for employees who have experienced qualifying life events which would otherwise result in a loss of insurance coverage. These include employees who have had their hours reduced or have been laid off, spouses of these individuals, widows of deceased employees, and divorced spouses of employees. In essence, if one of these unexpected or unfortunate events occurs, the employee and the employee’s family are not left without affordable health insurance.

Significantly, employers are also required to offer continued group health insurance coverage for dependent children of employees facing these qualifying events. This right to COBRA insurance kicks in if the children would otherwise lose their health coverage.

Parents have a duty to support their children, and providing health insurance coverage for them is no exception. Therefore, if you foresee your child losing health insurance coverage due to a divorce or other qualifying event, it is worth speaking to your family law attorney about COBRA, or the other health insurance options that may be available. Accounting for health insurance coverage is essential when it comes to child support, so your attorney can help guide you in the right direction so that your child continues to receive uninterrupted health care.

Let New Direction Family Law Assist You

New Direction Family Law provides advice and representation regarding separation agreements, divorce, spousal support, property division, child custody, and child support issues. Our attorneys are experienced, intelligent, and passionate about helping clients find their way toward their better future. With a methodical approach and an attention to detail, we pride ourselves in helping clients get to that future with a sense of confidence and certainty. If you need help, contact New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.