Wading through health insurance as a process of divorce

One of the most important, yet often overlooked, pieces in a divorce settlement is finding good health insurance for yourself, and your children. Most divorced spouses have been covered through work, usually with the divorced spouse’s company. Most times you get a very daunting COBRA letter with an outrageous premium cost and you get very nervous. “How can this be my only option?”

Good news, it’s not. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), has changed the individual insurance market to allow anyone that wants a health insurance plan to get one. There are no health questions, pre-existing conditions, or underwriting. You want a plan, you got one. However, knowing which medical carrier has the best plans with your doctor in network is tricky.

wading thru insuranceLuckily there are health insurance brokers that are free to you. Our job is to help ask you questions about how you use health insurance and the doctors and networks you would like to keep. We ask you to tell us about your prescription use, if any, and the specialists you may need to see, therapists, chiropractors, etc.. We then provide you a few plan options that meet your needs. If the premiums aretoo high and you would like to see more, we provide them.

There are five medical carriers and over 40 plans to choose from, each with different deductibles, out of pocket maximums, co-pays or even Health Savings Accounts. If trying this on your own it can be an extremely overwhelming task. Rather than go it alone, one ten minute phone call or 30 minute meeting could provide you with the right plan for you as you move forward into your new life.

There are other aspects as well. During the neutral evaluation process, the premium rates could be added into the equation when determining spousal maintenance. Leaving this out could leave you paying $300 to $600 a month for health insurance premiums out of your own pocket. That would be a sizeable amount if you are on a fixed budget after the divorce.

If you have any questions on health insurance or need help navigating a very unfamiliar market, please give me a call or email.

Doug Panner
Panner Healthcare Consulting, LLC

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