Sunday, June 05, 2005

Divorce; lost Health Insurance Question about self and children

Recently, I had a question from someone who was going through a divorce and was concerned about lost health insurance coverage because she was covered under her husband's insurance. She was concerned not just for herself, but for her children as well. This question comes up a lot. See is this answer helps you better understand what to do. If you have additional questions on this topic, feel free to add to the blog, and I'll answer them.

Medical Insurance and Divorce
To answer your questions specifically, here are some ideas to consider.

1) You and your children are automatically covered under your husband's insurance as a dependent until you divorce.

2) When your divorce is final, you have the opportunity to continue your husband's insurance by triggering what is called "COBRA". (Note: there is another blog entry that defined COBRA.) This will continue your coverage for an additional 18 months; unfortunately, you will have to pay the full cost of the coverage (and the company can have you pay 102 - 105% of the coverage cost).

Your children, by law, will becovered under the parent's coverage whose birth date occurs first in the calender year.

3) One suggestion is that when you hire an Attorney to assist with your divorce, you might want to ask, in the settlement negotiations, to have the price of the COBRA payments included in your settlement. This would be particularly important if you happen to have the early-in-the year birthdate, and will be paying for the children's health insurance coverage. This cost should not have to come out of your child support, as it can be VERY EXPENSIVE.

4) Whatever you decided to do, keep all documents together. Whenever you talk to anyone, document to whom you talk, get the name and tele #, and what was said by all in the conversation as soon as possible after the conversation. In this way, you document what is said, and do not have to rely on memory. Also, when you send anything to anyone, keep a copy for yourself, and send it by registered mail, so that you have proof of receipt. Please feel free to contact me again with additional questions as you continue your journey.

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