Hello again, Carrie, and thank you for clarifying this for me.
Thirty-six months is typically the maximum anyone can receive COBRA benefits even if a new qualifying event occurs, so if you originally started receiving COBRA benefits in 2010 and received them continuously through September 30th of this year, then the qualifying event of divorce would not typically aid in continuing benefits past the September 30th date.
Divorce is a qualifying event normally, if you were receiving health insurance as a benefit of your spouse's employer and then got divorced. However, if you were already receiving COBRA benefits at the time of divorce, it would not typically work to extend your benefits another 36 months.
If the health insurer nonetheless informed you in writing that you would have coverage until July 2014, then you could potentially pursue damages against them for breach of contract since they promised continuing coverage, at least until you are able to obtain comparable coverage, which should be January 1, 2014 when the Affordable Healthcare Act goes into effect.
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