For many couples living in and around Dayton, Ohio, health care is a major issue. Not only is it expensive, it also is often an essential lifeline that gives both spouses, as well as their children, access to the care and treatments they need to thrive and sometimes even to survive.

When a couple divorces, they both will continue to need health care, so their split can complicate matters with respect to health insurance. In fact, health insurance issues sometimes steer a couple toward a legal separation in lieu of a divorce.

Generally speaking, one spouse, who is not an employee, will not be allowed to stay on the health insurance plan of an employee-spouse once they divorce, at least not in the long term. The non-employee spouse should take steps to secure his or her own health coverage as soon as possible or plan to COBRA off of the employee’s insurance.

Whatever the solution, it may be necessary to negotiate an agreement, either through an award of alimony or an appropriate property division, in order to be sure a party’s health insurance is affordable.

One notable exception to the general rule involves military spouses. Even after a divorce, some former spouses of servicemembers may be able to remain on the military’s TRICARE plan.

For instance, a spouse who has been married to a long-term servicemember for at least 20 years may under the right circumstances be able to continue on TRICARE indefinitely. In certain other cases, a spouse may be able to stay on TRICARE for a year after divorcing.

Handling health insurance matters, such as figuring out how to afford coverage after a divorce, are important things that one should consider with the help of his or her family law attorney.