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How Divorce Affects Health Insurance

Health insuranceHow will a divorce affect your health insurance coverage?  In a marriage, it’s common for one partner to have health coverage for the whole family through their employer’s medical insurance plan. After a divorce, the coverage for the spouse will usually end.  Legal children of the policyholder can usually continue to be covered.  If not, state and federal government laws offer insurance to families in peril of losing medical coverage, particularly to children. Yet, it’s essential to reevaluate your family’s insurance related to health, before a divorce occurs, to avoid serious complications later.

Plan ahead. When you and your spouse are considering divorce, the following items should be taken into consideration:

  1. Health insurance for the children. It has to be determined which party will be responsible for supplying the health insurance and who will pay for it.  It needs to be clear that whichever parent has the children will be able to handle any medical issues without the other parent present.
  2. How will co-pays for the children be handled?  How will this expense be shared between parents?  This needs to be laid out in the divorce settlement.
  3. COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act permits an ex-spouse to stay under their ex-companion’s coverage for up to three years.  This means the coverage can continue at your own expense.   The coverage ends if you get married before the three years are over or have the capacity to get medical insurance from your own employer.
  4. Get coverage from your employer.  If you are employed and qualify for coverage from your employer, you’ll need to sign up at least for yourself.  Compare coverage for your children with your ex-spouse’s medical plan to see which one is best.
  5. If you are not covered under an employer, you’ll need to seek out insurance through the Affordable Care Act or by buying a plan from a Health Insurance Company.

Nobody wants to get a divorce, but you need to be as practical as possible. Stay positive but seek out professional advice to plan what’s best for you and your family.  Once you’ve had the discussions and agree how health insurance will be handled after the divorce – get it in writing.  Have everything included in the divorce settlement.

For all your insurance needs contact Greg Suggs Insurance Agency at 919-875-8889.

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