Getting divorced can change a lot of things. Unfortunately, the difficult emotions and anxiety many Tennessee residents experience during the divorce process can also allow some of those changes to escape your attention.
Insurance coverage needs are one of those changes and are also a frequent source of trouble for divorcing and recently divorced spouses. If you’re caught unprepared (meaning you haven’t made the changes you need to make), it could leave you with no insurance, too little insurance or too much insurance — any of which could cost you a great deal.
If you both have coverage from your respective employer’s, the only issue you might need to address is which plan the children will be covered under. If one spouse is covered under the other’s employer-sponsored health plan, however, the insurance company should be notified, and he or she should be taken off the policy.
Individuals who can afford to pay the high premiums for temporary COBRA coverage under their former spouse’s plan or the $300 a month cost of the average plan purchased on the open market may want to do so. If neither of those is an option and you don’t have access to your own employer-sponsored health plan, you may want to ask about your eligibility for Medicaid coverage.
Making changes here is easy to do but also easy to forget.
If you are moving out of the house and your spouse is staying, make sure you get your name taken off the policy (for liability reasons) and consider purchasing renter’s insurance, which will probably cost you half as much. If you will be staying in the home, you may be able to save money by reducing the amount of coverage you carry for your personal belongings because there will likely be a lot less stuff in the house.
In our next divorce blog post, we’ll cover auto insurance and life insurance issues.
Source: Thomson Reuters, “How to untangle your insurance plans in divorce,” Geoff Williams, Sept. 11, 2012