If you’re in the process of divorce, or even just contemplating it, there are so many things you have to think about. One of the things that many people neglect to sort out is health insurance. If you have health insurance through your own job or some other means that’s not tied to your spouse, you don’t have anything to worry about. But if you insure your spouse under your plan, or they insure you under theirs, the time to sort out what you’re going to do is now.
How long do you have to make the change?
Most companies allow for a window of time in which any changes have to be reported. Often that’s 30 days. So if you get divorced your spouse can wait a while before they notify their insurance company. That can give you time to get coverage of your own, so you don’t have a lapse in coverage and risk a medical problem where you wouldn’t have any financial help.
If the situation is reversed and your spouse is covered under your policy, they can get their own insurance before you have to let your insurance company know to remove them from the policy.
Legal separation may be an option for now
If you’re having trouble getting insurance issues sorted out, you can get a legal separation. Since you’ll still be married you’ll still be covered, but you can live separately and sort out child custody, property division, and all of those other issues during that time. Then when you have everything in place, including proper insurance coverage for both you and your spouse, you can file for the actual divorce.
That may mean that you’re married a little bit longer than anticipated after the decision has been made to divorce, but unless there’s great animosity between the two of you it should work out for the best in the long run.
Other insurance options – Affordable Care Act
If you don’t have a job or you can’t get good coverage on your own, you can check out the Affordable Care Act insurance options. Depending on the amount of money you make and other factors, you may be able to get health insurance that costs very little. That can protect your interests and let you move forward with your divorce and your life.
Working with an experienced attorney for your divorce proceedings can also help you focus on the important issues so you can get everything sorted out and see your divorce finalized.