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    Watch Out for Health Insurance Changes and Costs During a Divorce

    During a divorce, most people are not thinking about what could happen to their health insurance benefits. With rising costs and many insurers to choose from, individuals will want to consult their divorce lawyer to get advice on how this could financially affect them and their children.

    If one spouse is currently covered through the other spouse’s work plan, the individual cannot be dropped during the pendency of the divorce without facing possible consequences from the court. However, once the divorce is finalized, the insurer must be notified, or the parties may be charged with insurance fraud.

    In Florida, individuals may be able to use either federal or state COBRA to continue their current insurance coverage, in some instances. However, these rates can be much higher, so it pays to look at alternatives that provide high-quality coverage at better prices. Parties do have other options for obtaining health insurance coverage. Besides COBRA, individuals can get insurance through their own employer. Oftentimes employers will subsidize health plans and offer preferred provider plans, health maintenance organizations, indemnity plans, or service provider plans.

    Alternatively, individuals can shop for the coverage they want and modify monthly costs accordingly. Choices abound with plans that have lower prices but restrictions on hospital and physicians fees paid, or pricier plans with easy access to doctors and hospitals. Individuals will want to be aware of deductibles, co-pays, waiting periods, conditions covered and auxiliary coverages such as dental, vision and prescriptions when comparing plans.

    Often, individuals want to negotiate the cost of health insurance as part of the divorce settlement. In addition to health insurance issues for spouses, the divorce agreement should also outline who will pay insurance for any children involved in the marriage.

    An experienced Tampa or Zephyrhills divorce lawyer will help their client be mindful of their rights and long-term benefits of health insurance. Seeking competent legal counsel early in the process will help ensure the costs of health insurance and your case are treated fairly.

    Posted on Sunday, September 23rd, 2012. Filed under Divorce.