While some individuals will retain the same coverage after a divorce because
of their job, some couples opt for a legal
separation solely on the basis that both spouses need to keep health insurance. While
there is no getting around the fact that a divorce can be complicated,
you can remove the concern of health insurance in this process. If you
are facing a
divorce later in life, then here is an overview of what you can do to ensure that
you will maintain the coverage you need, even after a divorce.
You might begin by looking over individual health care policies. This could
be through an insurance agent or company, a credit union, or a group such
as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). You have to look
at more than price, and you need to look at more than one policy to decide
which is best. Here are some terms to help you in your search:
Deductibles are payments that must be made before there can be any coverage. If a
deductible is a high amount, then this reflects a less expensive plan.
Coinsurance refers to how the costs will be divided, that is, what percentage of your
costs will be covered by you. So if your policy includes a 20 percent
coinsurance clause, this means that you pay 20 percent, and the insurance
company pays the remaining 80 percent of your claim.
Cancellation and renewal coverage: this is related to the fact that a private insurer cannot cancel someone's
policy without reason. Coverage can be cancelled, however, for instances
such as an insured person not paying their premiums or not giving their
full medical history. Ideally, you want to find a policy that is a non-cancellable,
guaranteed renewable policy. If not, then search for a conditionally renewable
coverage; this would mean that your policy only gets cancelled if a category
of policies is getting cancelled at once, not just yours.
If this does not work for you, you have additional options. This includes
health saving accounts (HSAs). To have one, you need a health insurance
policy that has a high deductible. You can then start an account at your
bank, with an insurance company, or through another entity (that is federally
authorized), and then you can put tax-deductible payments into the account.
You can withdraw whenever you need to for any eligible medical cost.
Then there is COBRA, legislation that applies to people who have health
care coverage through their spouse's job. If you are one such "qualified
beneficiary", then you may be able to obtain as much as 36 additional
months of coverage after a divorce. COBRA does not include those who have
jobs with the federal government, but most positions will have coverage
options like those under COBRA laws. For those divorcing a spouse in the
military, Tricare can supply continued insurance comparable to that under COBRA.
After this coverage has run out, you may be able to take advantage of HIPAA
portability. Under this law, there are situations when you cannot be denied
coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and this is a right to coverage
that is portable if: you lost group coverage and are trying to get an
individual policy, you are getting a new job with a different group plan,
or you are covered individually and have started a group policy.
If you still have not been able to obtain group or individual coverage,
then you could always look into insurance risk pools, Medicare (health
insurance for those 65 or more), health care supplements, and Medicaid.
These can fill gaps in your coverage, or they can tide you over until
you obtain coverage from an individual or group policy. Talking with insurance
agents and checking out websites can give you a good start in helping
you find the health care coverage you need.
To learn more about divorce after 50,
contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. Here, you can find the legal counsel that you deserve, a Long Island divorce
lawyer who is both skilled and compassionate.