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Health Care and Divorce After 50

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.