NAPLES, Fla. - Most married couples, especially when they have minor children, have one family health insurance plan. This plan usually is provided by one party's employer or independently from an insurance company. Either way, usually upon divorce, coverage for the non-employee spouse will be terminated, or if there is no longer a family unit, then coverage might change.
While there are laws in place to protect a person from immediately losing coverage, investigate your options before negotiating your divorce settlement.
Determine how much income you will have after the divorce to choose a plan.
Some plans have higher premiums and then lower deductibles, and others have lower deductibles with higher premiums.
Also determine what is important to you: For some, having counseling benefits is essential and for others, perhaps coverage for addiction treatment.
Does the plan include dental coverage?
Oftentimes dental coverage is much more affordable when purchased with the health insurance plan.
Find out when your current health insurance will terminate and coordinate the start of your new plan.
Also, find out if you qualify for COBRA and how much the monthly payments would be to continue the current coverage and compare the cost of both policies. (Note: COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which is the federal law that can provide people with the right to continue health coverage.)
Since the Affordable Care Act, there are a variety of health care options.
Visit the website, www.obamacarefacts.com.
There are a variety of health care insurance plans available with varying premiums. There are several other online sources for procuring health insurance such as www.esurance.com.
You can also go straight to a particular company, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield or Cigna, to get quotes.
If you are the non- monied spouse and are eligible for alimony, try to get enough alimony to cover your premium.
You also can get the monied spouse to pay the premium for you separately but be sure that they are actually being paid.
Regardless of whether you are the husband, the wife, the monied spouse or the non-monied spouse, be aware of what's going to happen to your health insurance coverage after divorce and planning accordingly will help to ensure a smooth transition.
Rebecca Zung, a family law attorney, is a founding partner of the Law Office of Zung Clough, PLLC in Naples. As a renowned divorce authority, she helps clients transform and rebuild their lives. Her book, "Breaking Free: A Step-by-Step Divorce Guide to Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Freedom," is available on amazon.com. Contact Zung at RebeccaZung.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.