Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Indiana Family Law Blog and Health Insurance After Divorce

I have been remiss about mentioning a new Indiana family law blog from the New Albany firm of Waters Tyler Scott Hofmann & Doane, LLC - simply named Divorce Law Indiana. I like the style of the blog and its content, and it is good to have another Indiana family law blog. Especially one from the southern part of the state (although I am now wondering why nothing out of Evansville?)

I especially wanted to point out this article,  Health insurance after divorce, which points out the reasons why I am following the health care reform bill with interest.

In general, when your marriage ends, there are four ways for you to get health insurance coverage:
1. Continue your health insurance temporarily through COBRA.

The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) is a federal law designed to protect employees and their dependents from losing coverage as a result of job loss or divorce. If your former spouse maintained family health coverage through work (and works for a company with at least 20 employees), you may continue this group coverage for up to 36 months after the divorce or legal separation. You will have to pay for this coverage, however. COBRA coverage will terminate sooner than 36 months if you remarry or obtain coverage under another group health plan.

Because individual policies are often more expensive than group policies, COBRA coverage is certainly attractive. If you decide to exercise your COBRA rights, your cost of continuing coverage cannot exceed 102 percent of the employer's cost for the insurance. Additionally, you have the right to pay the premiums in monthly installments.

2. Ask for health insurance coverage as part of your divorce settlement.

When you are negotiating a divorce settlement, ask that your spouse be required to maintain health insurance coverage for you. This may not work if you can easily get health insurance coverage through your own employer. But if you're an older homemaker or self employed without access to employer-sponsored health coverage, you have a better chance of receiving this as part of your settlement. Otherwise, when the COBRA coverage terminates after 36 months, you may be denied health insurance if your health is poor (although federal law provides protections for certain pre-existing medical conditions).

3. Get coverage through your own employer.

If you work and your employer offers health insurance coverage, sign up for it. Unless your spouse is paying for your health insurance coverage as part of your divorce settlement, this is probably the least expensive way for you to get health insurance.

4. Purchase an individual health insurance policy.
I also must say, I think anyone who notes the twentieth anniversary of the War of the Roses will be providing interesting material.

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