One of the few assets that are undervalued in a divorce is health insurance. Often one spouse has employer provided insurance and provides coverage for the entire family, while the other spouse may not have the opportunity for coverage through employment.
It is important for your attorney to understand your need for health coverage. If you have a medical condition or require prescriptions, it is important that we be able to develop a plan for your coverage after divorce.
There are several different options for divorcing spouses when it comes to health insurance.
Tricare is a sought after benefit. In the case of military spouses who qualify under the 20/20/20 rule, you are eligible to receive tricare coverage independently, but must pay the entire premium on a quarterly basis. Currently, Tricare is approximately $390.00 per month and paid quarterly.
Civil Service/Federal Employees:
The Federal Government offers many different insurance plans, and it is important to understand your eligibility for coverage after a divorce.
FEHB: Federal Employee Health Benefits
Divorcing spouses over 55 who are not remarried are eligible for coverage under the FEHB. This makes insurance available, but the cost is the employee premium PLUS the government portion PLUS 2% administrative surcharge.
TCC: Temporary Continuation of Coverage
This option is available after health coverage ends in a divorce and is similar to traditional COBRA coverage. The cost of TCC plans is the same as under the FEHB program: the full premium (employee and government portions) plus a 2% surcharge.
Affordable Care Act
The Affordable care act provides insurance to those who do not have insurance available through their employers. In Florida and Georgia, the insurance marketplaces are run through the federal system and can be found at www.healthcare.gov While open enrollment is in December each year, after a divorce, any person needing insurance is able to apply for coverage. The Affordable Care Act prohibits denial of coverage for preexisting conditions. It is possible to reduce your monthly premium though tax credits based on income.
This option may be more affordable, and have comparable coverage, than Tricare or FEHB programs. It is important to investigate all of your options to determine what is best for you.