Considering Healthcare Options For After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmHealthcare is of prime importance for anyone, especially those who are 50 and above years of age. It is vital for someone at that age in the middle of a divorce. The trick to maintain a quality of healthcare coverage is to act quickly. Search for replacement coverage and try to keep the existing coverage as soon as you know that your marriage is about to end. Inform your attorney as soon as possible if you have an inkling that your spouse could fail to pay the required premiums or drop the employer provided insurance coverage. In case you are aware that you may require the coverage of private health insurance after the divorce, begin the process as quickly as possible. Longer time could be needed for studying the different policy options and for coverage application.

Understand that the cheapest health insurance is employer offered group insurance. You will be considered lucky if you get covered through own employment. In case you get covered via the workplace of your spouse, there is a possibility that you will get COBRA coverage. If not, individual insurance is the best bet.                    

Individual plans in healthcare

A number of varieties of individual plans related to healthcare exists. These include expensive plans providing greater coverage and many lower priced plans could restrict physician and hospital access. There can also be plans with zero deductibles, no waiting periods and no co-pays. There could also be umbrella plans with a number of health services. Others could be PPOs or preferred provided plans, catastrophic plans, HMO plans and mini-med plans.

Starting points

Individual health insurance can be purchased via an insurance agent, insurance company website or any wholesale purchasing entity like trade association, credit union or organizations like American Association of Retired Persons or AARP. You should compare policies of same type and providing same benefits. If not, a difference in price becomes meaningless. You should know important insurance terms like deductibles, co-pay or co-insurance and covered expense so that you select the right plan. 

Coverage cancellation and renewal

Once you get insurance coverage, the carrier cannot cancel the health coverage at will. Do keep in mind that the insurance could be canceled if you fail to pay premiums or fail to disclose all the relevant medical information. It may also be canceled due to the elimination of benefits. You should preferably chose guaranteed renewable coverage.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Can I Retain My Health Insurance Coverage after a Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIn a majority of complicated divorce cases in California, there is often a partner who is constantly fretting over whether or not he or she will retain the health insurance coverage after the divorce. The health insurance costs in America are extremely high, and losing on such enormous amount of money can be a huge setback for most. If a partner does not retain the health insurance coverage of his or her ex spouse post a divorce, he or she might have to obtain a fresh insurance from the open market, which will often imply a substantial investment.

When does the court allow you to retain your ex partner’s health insurance coverage? 

Although, in a majority of cases the ‘continuation of coverage’ is cited as temporary by the federal and state laws, there are certain circumstances wherein an ex spouse is liable to compensate the uninsured partner for indefinite health insurance coverage. In some cases, the divorcing parties might reach a mutually agreed settlement which puts the insured spouse under the obligation of making regular cash payments to the other partner in lieu of the indefinite health coverage. In addition to this, there are certain other provisions which require the insured spouse to take up a new health insurance plan which will be able to provide indefinite coverage to the uninsured spouse as well. In case, the uninsured partner is granted the sole custody of the couple’s children, the new health insurance plan is bound to provide coverage not only to the custodial parent but also to the children. 

Retaining your health insurance coverage in California 

The state laws of California are likely to favor the retention of the health insurance coverage by the uninsured spouse even after a divorce. This implies, that under normal circumstance you will be allowed to retain your share in the health insurance plan of your ex spouse. However, the entire process of establishing your share in the coverage and making premium payments can be quite complex. In order to avoid last minute hassles, most of the attorneys in California will probably advice you to apply for legal separation proceedings well in advance before you file that divorce petition.

Once the final verdict has been announced by the court of law, the uninsured spouse needs to determine his or her eligibility to qualify for COBRA coverage which allows you temporary coverage for a period of up to 36 months.

If you wish to know more about the COBRA coverage and whether you are eligible to retain your health insurance coverage or not, you can consult a professional attorney who would be able to effectively guide you on the legal aspects of the matter.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Full disclaimer.