Will Your Health Insurance Disappear When Your Spouse Leaves
Happily ever after is only in fairy tales. In today’s society, divorce is the inevitable end to many marriages. In fact, about half of all U.S. marriages today end in divorce. In 2011 alone, there were 877,000 divorces in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accepting that divorce is a possibility in your marriage is the first step in protecting yourself when your relationship crumbles.
When you say “I do,” you might dream of spending the rest of your life with your spouse. However, the statistics tell us that those “’til death do us part” vows do not mean much for many couples. Divorce affects individuals from all socioeconomic classes in the United States. Plus, the more often an individual marries, the more likely he or she is to get divorced–again. While half of all first marriages end in divorce, two-thirds of second marriages and a whopping 73 percent of third marriages result in divorce. In addition, couples of all ages dissolve their marriage. While younger couples are more likely to divorce, according to the CDC, the rates of “gray divorces”–that is, divorces among couples over age 65–is increasing as well. Simply put, divorce is a part of life for many Americans. Preparing yourself for divorce is an important protective measure.
Effects of Divorce
When your marriage crumbles, you experience a range of emotions, depending on your circumstances: sadness over the end of a relationship, frustration or anger directed toward your soon-to-be ex, or even happiness that you’re escaping a miserable marriage. In addition to dealing with this swing of emotions, you and your ex are tasked with dividing assets and liabilities. Who gets the house? How will you share custody of children? What money goes where? Tackling these questions is just the start of a long and detailed process that ensures that everything is divided fairly before your divorce is final. However, splitting up assets and liabilities might be the easy part — at least those tangibles can be split down the middle.
Health Insurance and Divorce
You likely consider separating finances, property, and tangible assets during your divorce. However, health insurance can be another major issue during a divorce, especially if you are on your spouse’s plan. Perhaps you do not work or work as an independent contractor, and you are listed on your spouse’s plan because you do not have access to any employer-sponsored coverage. Perhaps you do have access to employer-sponsored insurance coverage, but your spouse’s plan is better or more inexpensive, which is why you opted for the family plan during your marriage. Regardless of why you’re on your spouse’s health insurance plan, the facts are simple: health insurance cannot be split 50-50.
Living without health insurance, even for the short term, is a risky move. If you have ongoing health problems, you need around-the-clock coverage. Even if you do not, one medical event can leave you with substantial medical bills. The last thing you need is a financial crisis in the midst of an emotionally taxing divorce. Therefore, it is imperative that you evaluate your health insurance options before those divorce papers are signed.
Before you are dropped from your spouse’s insurance, you need to understand your options. In some states, you can petition a family court judge to allow you to stay on your spouse’s plan, even after divorce. However, if you do not want to have your insurance determined by the court system, you need to seek out alternatives.
Divorce is a qualifying life event also Known as (QLE), which allows you get a health plan outside open enrollment. You can also opt for a short term plan which typically covers you for six or twelve months. You can also speak with a certified licensed agent who is trained on divorce options, on platforms such as offered by Jibe Health, www.jibehealth.com specializing in unique situations with broad access to a large network of providers including Bluecrossbluesheild.com Atena.com, Humana.com, Unitedhealth.com, Coventry, Cigna and many others.
Divorce is tough enough — don’t let losing health insurance coverage compound the stress during an already difficult time. Being proactive and seeking out an individual health insurance plan that suits your specific health care needs ensure that you maintain coverage during your separation and beyond.
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