During a marriage, it is overwhelmingly common for spouses and children to be on the same health insurance policy. It is often more affordable than each spouse maintaining separate policies, one spouse may have access to a better policy, and it helps the family utilize health care providers who are within the same network. When a marriage ends, the issue of health insurance is an important one that must be properly addressed.
Health insurance coverage is essential and expensive. No matter how contentious a divorce becomes, family law attorneys often work toward addressing health insurance coverage for each member of the family. For children, this is obvious as parents have to financially support their children. But it is just as important that each spouse exits a marriage with a plan for health insurance coverage.
Coverage Should Be Maintained Throughout Divorce Proceedings
A spouse who is the primary policyholder should maintain coverage for the other spouse throughout their divorce proceedings. First, a couple remains married until a court orders their divorce. Second, insurance companies make it very difficult to remove a spouse from health care coverage without a court order. Also, if a spouse happens to require medical treatment before the divorce is finalized and has been dropped from the policy, the other spouse will bear consequences for this. A court that discovers this has occurred may order that spouse to pay those medical expenses and may also rule unfavorably when it comes to alimony.
Options to Avoid a Gap
When a divorce has been finalized, the spouse who is not the primary policyholder must seek another option for health insurance coverage. A divorced spouse will generally become ineligible for coverage under the former spouse’s policy. Some options for health care include health care from their own employer’s plan, obtaining temporary coverage during a gap with COBRA coverage, or going to the healthcare marketplace.
Further, if spouses can reach an alimony agreement, part of that agreement may encompass the temporary or continued costs of health insurance coverage.
Legal Separation May Be an Option
Another option for some married couples may be an agreed legal separation, or separate maintenance. This is for couples that are not prepared to permanently end their marriage and provides a court order regarding the division of property, spousal support, and child support while a couple is separated. A separate maintenance order may be appropriate for a spouse with preexisting medical conditions or needs since the couple is still technically married and the spouse can remain on the health care policy.
Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. is Here for You
If you are considering a divorce, we understand that you have big decisions to make. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. know that you need stability and certainty moving forward, and will work tirelessly to reach your best resolution. We are experienced, proven professionals who will fight for you. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.