Once a divorce decree is issued, entitlement to health benefits as a spouse terminates. COBRA was enacted in 1986 and allows temporary healthcare continuation at group rates for ex-spouses. The ex-spouse is responsible for the entire premium. In that regard, it will likely be more expensive than the rate for the employee who is likely receiving an employer contribution toward the premium. Employers with 20 or more employees are required to offer COBRA coverage. The maximum coverage period in the event of divorce or legal separation is 36 months.