Health insurance may be the last thing on a new widow/widower’s mind. But unfortunately, many widows and widowers can find themselves in unique and difficult situations after a spouse’s death when it comes to their health insurance policy. Fortunately, there are many options and solutions that a widowed spouse can consider when she finds herself in this situation.
Health Insurance Options for Widows and Widowers
Many families use a collective family health insurance plan to cover their health insurance needs, and quite frequently, they elect to take advantage of one spouses’ employee health insurance program. If the spouse who holds the policy passes on, the remaining family members can be left in a bit of a health insurance lurch. The following are some suggested courses of action to remedy the situation.
- COBRA: Widows and widowers can receive up to 36 months of continued health insurance coverage through COBRA if they lose their employer family health plan due to death. The only catch to COBRA is this: premiums can cost up to 102% of the original price. Many people find this option too expensive to consider.
- Alternative Family Packages: Many private companies and employers are now offering alternative family health insurance packages. This type of plan allows families to custom fit their health plan to fit their family’s needs. Instead of insuring two adults, plus children, families can insure varying amounts of adults and children. Alternative families find this option more affordable because it adjusts to their particular needs.
A death in the family is always an emotional hardship. However, it can be a financial hardship as well. If you are a recent widow or widower that has lost health insurance because of your spouse’s death, you have options. Whether you elect to use COBRA or find a new health insurance policy through a private company, your family’s health insurance can remain intact.