Health insurance is not always brought up during divorce proceedings; however, it should as it is a topic that will have ramifications on both you and your child’s lives. It is essential to have a good idea of your health insurance options so you can be best prepared to transition off your spouse’s health insurance plan if needed. Today, we go over what you need to know about health insurance after a divorce.
What Health Insurance Options Are Available to You After a Divorce?
Your health insurance options after a divorce vary depending on your circumstances. These circumstances encompass the following:
- Amount you pay for insurance
- Current insurance status
If you or your spouse’s employer provided you health insurance, then this is most likely your first option for pursuing health insurance after divorce. Florida offers a COBRA program for an individual who is the ex-spouse of a company that employs at least 20 people. If your ex-spouse works for such a company, their employer is required to provide this coverage if you notify a health plan administrator within 60 days of the date your divorce is finalized.
COBRA allows individuals who received coverage through their ex-spouse’s employer to continue this coverage for a certain period provided that that person pays the full premium of the coverage. Not all health insurance plans are eligible for COBRA coverage, however. If the employer employs fewer than 20 workers, COBRA coverage is not available. Also, if the employer is the federal government or a religious organization, you will not be eligible for COBRA.
You can also apply for Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance coverage.
Will My Child’s Health Insurance be Affected by a Divorce?
For the most part, a divorce should not impact your child’s ability to remain on your insurance or your spouse’s insurance plan. You are both obligated to provide your child with health insurance until he/she is old enough to get his/her own plan. Florida law requires one parent, often the one ordered to pay child support, to provide health insurance for a child following a divorce, if the cost is reasonable.
In Florida, the parent who is court-ordered to pay for health insurance may receive a credit when the court calculates child support, which could lower his/her child support obligation.
What You Should Know About Medicare
If you are over the age of 60 and going through a divorce, you may have the option of Medicare benefits. Generally, these benefits are available for people over 60, individuals with disabilities, and people with certain diseases. Medicare taxes must have been paid for at least 40 quarters of your working life.
How to Budget for Health Insurance After a Divorce
During a divorce, you need to determine what your budget is for health insurance coverage. If you must pay for private health insurance out of pocket, you may want to ask for more spousal support during your divorce. You might also need to adjust your spending as your finances will change after getting divorced.
You should also review all your health care options to ensure that your plan will suit all your needs. It would behoove you to do this before your health insurance coverage ends.
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