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Health insurance woes and divorce

| Feb 28, 2018 | Family Law |

Insurance woes are common during a divorce. If you’re considering a divorce — or already in the midst of getting one — it’s time to think about insurance.

Here are some important things you need to consider:

Do either you or your spouse have a serious medical condition?

A serious medical condition could be acute, like a cancer diagnosis, or chronic, like diabetes. Either way, illness can be seriously expensive — and without insurance, one of you may be left without the means to get vital medical care.

Some couples have agreed to legal separations instead of moving ahead with divorce until either an acute medical crisis has passed or alternative insurance can be found in the cases of chronic illness. It usually isn’t a good long-term solution, though.

Do you know when your medical care will end if you do divorce?

It’s important not to assume anything about insurance. If your insurance is through your spouse, it ends when your divorce is finalized. You are, however, generally protected during the time leading up to that date.

You may be eligible for insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act, known as COBRA. Unfortunately, COBRA plans are limited to three years and are often prohibitively expensive. Unless you are able to pick up insurance through your own employer or through a state plan, like Medicaid, you may have few options short of paying for a private plan.

Will your children retain insurance?

Your children will generally remain entitled to the insurance they have now — but make sure that your divorce decree addresses the issue of who pays for the coverage. There’s generally a difference in cost for individual and family coverage and you want to make sure that you aren’t on the hook for the expense if your spouse is better able to absorb the cost.

For more information on how divorce can affect your future expenses, consider a consult with a family law attorney.

 

Source: Care2, “How Does Divorce Affect Health Insurance Coverage?,” Safer America, Feb. 06, 2018

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