In a Gray Divorce, the age of the parties calls for issues surrounding both health and life insurance to be addressed.
Couples divorcing after age 50, but before qualifying for Medicare, should consider the costs of health insurance when planning for their future. Once the divorce is final, you cannot remain on your spouse's health insurance plan. Individuals over the age of 50 need to consider the availability and affordability of health insurance as part of the financial matters addressed in your divorce.
You may qualify for Medicare under your former spouse's work record if you are eligible for your former spouse's Social Security benefits. Generally, you must be age 65 to qualify, but disabled divorced widows or widowers under age 65 may be eligible earlier.
Continue to Receive Health Benefits with a Legal Separation
Instead of divorcing, some couples decide to become legally separated. Legal separation prepares the parties to live separately by legally dividing property and debt, providing for spousal maintenance when appropriate, and other provisions but without entering a decree that dissolves the marriage. Because legal separation does not end the legal marriage, a spouse may still receive health insurance benefits from the other's plan.
If you are considering this option, you should discuss it with a qualified divorce attorney who has experience creating legal separation agreements for couples who are retired, nearing retirement age, or are otherwise concerned about qualifying for medical insurance with a new plan.
Life insurance is typically considered in association with a spousal maintenance award as a means of providing security and certainty that spousal maintenance will be paid for the duration agreed upon or ordered by the court even if the payor dies. The spouse entitled to spousal maintenance is typically designated as the beneficiary of the policy.