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Health insurance and divorce may be a complex issue

11175715_S.jpgDuring your marriage, there are many things that "just happen." You and your spouse likely comingle some or all of your income and pay your mortgage or rent, car loans, groceries, childcare expenses and all of the thousands of other ancillary costs of daily living.

You make decisions with a goal of benefiting your family and much of that happens relatively automatically. Then, some years into your marriage, your relationship with your spouse sours and you contemplate divorce. 

Now all of those "things" that just happened no longer will just happen. And as you look at your divorce, one of the more important things that you will need to take care of is health insurance.

If you are employed here in the Columbia area and can obtain health insurance through your employer, your worries are limited to the cost of the coverage and doctors or hospitals within the plan.

On the other hand, if you have to find health insurance on your own, there are many more challenges. Given the complexity of finding coverage that fits your needs and that you can afford, you need to begin as soon as possible. There are numerous deadlines for applying for coverage and failing to meet those deadlines may leave you with no coverage for some time.

The other reason you need to determine your coverage is that you want to make certain that any expense for you or your children is encompassed within your divorce settlement. If your spouse will be responsible for some or all of that expense, you want to ensure that it is all spelled out within your settlement agreement, including factoring in the likely increases in cost health insurance will experience in the coming years.

Don't underestimate the complexity and how much time you may need to devote to this task. At times it may seem confusing and overwhelming, so start early and obtain help from your attorney or insurance professionals when necessary.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "5 Things You Need to Know About Health Insurance After Divorce," Karen Covy, November 20, 2015

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