How Divorce Affects Health Insurance Benefits in NJ
If you are facing the divorce process and your health insurance coverage comes from your spouse’s insurance, you may find yourself uninsured once the divorce is final.
You are getting a divorce, and there is so much to keep up with: the children, custody, the house, alimony, child support; it can all seem overwhelming. To add insult to injury, you must get health insurance because, after the divorce, you and your partner cannot share the policy they receive from their place of employment. During the divorce, you have a brief period to find insurance, and your children will keep their insurance because they are dependents of both of you.
Divorce and Changes in Health Insurance for Dependent Members
Coverage for the children will not change. If Spouse A’s employment provides healthcare for the children and Spouse B, Spouse B has to find their health insurance once the divorce is over. This can occur through Spouse B’s employer or by purchasing their insurance. However, Spouse A cannot remove Spouse B from the insurance policy during the divorce. A lawyer will provide the court with a certification of insurance. This certification includes all other insurance policies such as automobile, homeowner, and life. Also, a temporary order is used to ensure that the policies are not changed, and no one can be removed until the divorce is final.
Alternatives to Keep Both Spouses on Health Insurance when Considering Divorce
Insurance conditions cannot stay the same after the divorce. Your children will continue to receive health insurance. If your insurance policy covers your family, your spouse can no longer be on the policy after officially divorced because family insurance only includes family members. Your spouse will need to find their insurance policy.
There is one solution for both spouses to keep their insurance the way it is called a bed and board divorce. It isn’t a divorce; it is a legal separation. Everything is settled on: the house, the cars, the pension, the debts, the assets, but the final divorce decree is not completed. The couple continues to reside in the same house (and, if they so choose, the same room). Expenses can be divided, a parenting plan can be drawn up, and a budget for the children’s fees can be drawn up and paid for through child support. This is a temporary situation for most couples to have the time needed to organize their new position, including healthcare. Neither ex will be permitted to remarry until the split is made official and they are 100% divorced.
It is essential to consider that a divorce from bed and board should not occur unless the couple can treat one another civilly. It does you no good to find a solution for your health when you are stressed, miserable, and angry all of the time. Also, some partners use this option to mistreat their ex and threaten them with a final divorce as a way to manipulate them because they can file with the court to finalize the divorce at any given moment. It is an option that sounds much easier than it is.
Do I Have to Keep my Ex on my Health Insurance Benefits?
No. You do not have to keep your ex-spouse on your health plan after finalizing your divorce process.
Can my Spouse Allow me to Maintain their Health Policy if we get Divorced?
No. Your spouse cannot keep you on their insurance policy if you are divorced. Once the divorce is settled, you are no longer a family. You are deemed legally estranged and have no rights to their healthcare policy. You will have to obtain your insurance which will be presented later. The one exception to this applies when health insurance is included as a term in your divorce agreement.
Will Children Also be Affected by the Divorce In Terms of Their Healthcare Coverage?
According to federal law, children must have health insurance coverage. Many times, child support and insurance coverage are linked. Sometimes one parent pays the premiums, and sometimes both do. When it comes to co-pays, an arrangement is usually made in the divorce agreement. If the non-custodial parent pays for insurance for one child, their child support would be calculated to include the amount paid for insurance. If the custodial parent pays for the insurance, the non-custodial parent will make up the difference by paying more in support. Sometimes the children are denied coverage because they live out of the area covered by their insurance. If this insurance is from the non-custodial parent’s health plan, a Qualified Medical Child Support Order can be given to ensure health insurance coverage for the child.
Ways of Obtaining Health Insurance in New Jersey
The options are several when it comes to getting individual healthcare coverage. First, you could obtain employment from an employer that offers health insurance coverage. Second, you can put health insurance coverage in your divorce agreement. That is, you could not be on your ex’s policy, but they would pay all or a part of your insurance costs. Finally, you can buy your policy.
There are three sources of healthcare insurance you should consider. Employer-provided medical insurance is the best option because your employer pays for a part of it. Individual medical insurance is purchased directly from the insurance company. The benefit is being able to shop around for what is best for you both in price and services. Further, Medicare provides mandatory essential hospitalization benefits if you are over 65.
Exploring the COBRA Option in NJ
COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act) is a federal law that allows you to receive continued healthcare insurance on your ex’s policy for 36 months with a possible extension for 18 additional months. The disadvantage is that it can be costly. The employer does not subsidize the monthly premiums, so they pay their own. The advantage is that it provides excellent coverage while you look for a plan best suited to your budget and needs.
Consult a Skillful New Jersey Divorce Lawyer to Review your Options for Benefits in a Free Consultation
When you consider getting a divorce, no one tells you how complicated it will be. There is the division of assets and debts, alimony, child support, child custody, and other details that you had never considered, such as health insurance. If you are contemplating divorce, you need a lawyer who can lay out options and advise you on what to do next. You would think that it wouldn’t be that difficult once you have decided to separate. Still, without a knowledgeable, experienced attorney, you can be taken advantage of, left holding the bag.
The thought of not having health insurance can make you anxious and worried. Medical costs are astronomical, and you could find yourself in big trouble without insurance. You need to meet with the Montanari Law Group now and weigh all your options for handling health coverage benefits and other important matters that must be addressed during a divorce. Our firm has years of experience handling these types of cases in Passaic, West Milford, Clifton, Hawthorne, Ringwood, South Orange, Haledon, Woodland Park, Nutley, and nearby towns across Northern New Jersey. We want to walk you through each step and put your fears to rest.