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How Does Divorce Affect Your Health Insurance Coverage?


Some people stay in unhappy marriages because they do not want to break their marriage vows, while others stay because they fear the unknown.  For many people who initiate divorce, one of the main reasons that they hesitate to get divorced is because they do not know how they can survive financially without their spouse’s financial support.  If you get divorced, it means that you are no longer eligible for coverage under your spouse’s insurance plan.  This might not seem like a big deal if you are old enough to realize that money does not buy happiness but too young to have ever dealt with a serious illness and the medical bills that go along with it, but it is a major concern in many divorce cases.  If you are leaving a marriage where your spouse was the sole source of medical insurance for the whole family, a Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you ensure that you can afford healthcare after your divorce.

Health Insurance Coverage for Children After Divorce

One of the decisions that divorcing couples with minor children must make is which parent must pay for the children’s health insurance.  Typically, if the children are covered under one parent’s employer-provided insurance policy, this coverage continues after the divorce, but the court must take this into account when calculating the child support amount.  As part of the child support order, the court might order you or your ex-spouse to continue to pay for your children’s health insurance coverage until they reach adulthood.

Medical Insurance Coverage for Former Spouses

Once your divorce becomes final, you will no longer be eligible for coverage under your spouse’s employer-provided insurance plan.  Fortunately, you have several options for insurance coverage after your divorce.  If your employer also offers insurance coverage, you can sign up for it through your own employer.  If not, your employer must provide COBRA coverage for up to 36 months.  Companies with 20 or more employees are eligible for federal COBRA coverage, and those with 19 or fewer employees are eligible for Florida mini-COBRA.  COBRA insurance is not especially cheap, and the court will have to include the cost of it when determining equitable distribution.

You can also apply for marketplace healthcare, which takes a few months to go into effect but is less expensive.  It is very difficult for adults to qualify for Medicaid in Florida, but you may be eligible if your income is very low and you are the primary residential parent of minor children.  If your only ways of affording healthcare are through Medicaid or your ex-spouse, the court will order your ex-spouse to pay alimony. Florida case law holds that one of the purposes of alimony is to prevent former spouses from needing to rely on public benefits.

Contact Schwartz | White About Health Insurance Benefits After Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you ensure that your whole family stays healthy and financially secure after your divorce.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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