People at any age are often concerned about covering health care costs and maintaining health insurance coverage. When couples divorce, what happens to their health insurance?
One factor that becomes more important in today’s economy is the cost and availability of health insurance. Both parties in the divorce must consider this issue as part of the financial settlement.
Can you continue to stay on your spouse’s medical plan?
Once the divorce is final, you cannot remain on your ex-spouse’s health insurance plan. If you do not have access to health insurance through your own employment this can leave you uninsured.
Is there a good alternative?
Knowing that a divorced spouse cannot stay on the ex-spouse’s insurance, some people wonder if there is an option that can allow both spouses to receive health insurance benefits. Some couples decide to become legally separated in lieu of divorcing. In Massachusetts, this is called separate support. Because the legal marriage does not end, both parties may still have coverage under one spouse’s plan.
While the overall divorce rate in America has declined over the last twenty years, divorce among people over 50 has doubled.
Why is health insurance such an important issue during a gray divorce?
Gray divorce is a term often used to refer to people over 50 who are divorcing. Couples divorcing after age 50 but before they are eligible for Medicare must consider the cost and availability of health insurance. Losing existing health insurance can be difficult at an older age; qualifying for Medicare individually can be equally difficult.
What challenges surround Medicare?
Can you obtain Medicare once you reach the appropriate age? If you have not worked enough to qualify for Medicare yourself, you may be able to qualify for Medicare under your spouse’s work record if you are also eligible for your spouse’s Social Security benefits.
Tackling the sticky issue of health insurance coverage is only one of the difficulties faced during divorce. Be sure you account for the financial burden of health insurance during your divorce negotiations to avoid losing coverage or to plan for your coverage after the divorce.