For those going through a divorce, there are many changes that you will need to account for. Some may be more obvious changes including, moving to a new location or home, becoming a single parent, or reentering the work force after a long hiatus. While others you may need to be reminded of, such as changes in insurance plans. Health insurance is crucial to many individuals, especially to those who have preexisting conditions. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your Florida Divorce Attorney what happens to your insurance coverage after your divorce is finalized.
If you received your health insurance coverage through your spouse’s employer or you and your spouse entered into a joint private plan together as a married couple, it is likely you will lose your health insurance coverage at the conclusion of your divorce. With health insurance joint plans, coverage is based upon the familial relationship between the primary holder of the plan and their respective dependents, such as children or spouses. Therefore, as a former spouse, you will no longer qualify for coverage under the prior existing family plan. However, you do have options, and your Florida Divorce Attorney will discuss them with you and require you to seek out the availability of certain plans to you as it may be required to implement in to certain aspects of your divorce.
For instance, many individuals opt into COBRA. This stands for the federally recognized Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This law allows individuals to retain their employee related health insurance for a period of 3 years after the date the coverage would have normally been terminated. Therefore, you will be able to retain health insurance, that was obtained through your spouse’s employment for 3 years after your divorce. However, there are some drawbacks to COBRA. For instance, you will not receive the same rate, as the employer will no longer be providing a portion of the monthly premium for your individual health plan. Therefore, it could become expensive to remain on this plan without the financial assistance previously given.
If you do not wish to continue under COBRA or are not eligible to do so, you may also seek out rates for similar private insurance plans, or seek out a health insurance plan through your employer. Whether you are choosing to retain your health insurance under COBRA, or you are obtaining outside insurance, it is important to do research and receive quotes on how much each option available to you may cost. If you are losing your health insurance that was obtained through your spouse, and there will be a severe increase in your monthly costs to retain new health insurance, this may need to be implemented into your divorce award. For instance, you many require extra financial support from your spouse to account for this necessary increase in expenditures.
Discuss your current health insurance coverage and future options for health insurance with your Florida Divorce Attorney. With a proper understanding of the need of health insurance and the financial burden a new plan might bring, further legal action may need to be taken in order to properly protect your physical and financial wellbeing.
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