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COBRA and North Carolina Divorce

In North Carolina, COBRA, or The Consolidated Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1985 (sometimes C.O.B.R.A.), is a consideration for a spouse whose spouse is employed by a company that is affected by COBRA. The insured spouse must report that there is a divorce to the plan administrator of the policy in question within sixty (60) days of the final divorce judgement. The administrator then has fourteen (14) days to respond, after which there are sixty (60) more days for the decision to be made by the qualifying spouse. Qualified beneficiaries of this act include spouses, and dependent children. The act provides that certain group health plans are made available at a group rate to specific employees, former employees, retirees, spouses, ex-spouses, and dependent children.

Marshall & Taylor can help determine eligibility, and then help implement a process that will ensure that our clients have the coverage that they need and are entitled to. If your spouse currently has employer paid insurance in the Raleigh area, and if you or your children are also covered, then the insurance carrier must offer the opportunity for the coverage to continue at a group rate with a surcharge not to exceed two percent for administration. This rate must be made available for monthly payment and the availability shall be terminated in no less than 36 months.

There are few circumstances that would terminate the coverage prior to 36 months:

  • If the employer decides to no longer offer group health plans.
  • If the premium is not payed.
  • If the ex-spouse changes employment.
  • If the COBRA eligible spouse becomes eligible for Medicare or other Social Security benefits.
  • If the covered spouse remarries and becomes covered under another group plan.

If you have specific questions about how your divorce case may qualify you for COBRA benefits, please contact the spousal support specialists at Marshall & Taylor Family Law and Divorce Attorneys in Raleigh, North Carolina.