On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
If divorce is going to leave a person without health insurance and the need to pick a new plan, one should not expect it to be easy. There is a myriad of plans available nationwide and in Florida from a large number of companies, but choosing the right fit can be a difficult task. It is a task, however, that some people will be unable to avoid if a divorce is looming. Here are some general considerations that may be helpful in the process.
First, the complexity of the task requires getting started prior to the finalization of the divorce. Otherwise, a person may end up with less than attractive premiums or terms. Take the realistic cost of post-divorce health insurance and factor it into your needs as you negotiate a divorce settlement. Add in a reasonable increase for each year in the future.
One should learn about the dates during which insurance can be purchased. Health insurance can only be purchased during specified enrollment periods or, in some cases, during a “special” enrollment period. A person has 60 days after the divorce decree to enroll in a plan. If it is missed, it may be many months before another enrollment period begins.
The situation is so complex that it is wise to thoroughly examine all options. Don’t simply jump into insurance through COBRA. It may end up being far more expensive than choosing the right policy available in the open market. Additionally, if you are operating in the blind, don’t try to hobble through the system by luck.
Florida residents may seek help through an independent health insurance broker, but could significantly benefit by doing some research to make sure the broker is knowledgeable on the new maze of rules and options available. Also, it could be very helpful to obtain assistance from one’s divorce attorney during the process of negotiations. Try to obtain a substantial amount of protection in the settlement agreement so that the prospect of being left high and dry with no insurance coverage is prevented.
Huffington Post, “5 Things You Need to Know About Health Insurance After Divorce,” Karen Covy, Nov. 20, 2015