Monday, October 5, 2009
Health Insurance and Divorce in Washington
One of the areas of life that seems straightforward enough when times are good, concerns adequate health care coverage. This is a topic that becomes even more serious when a separation takes place, especially when children are involved. If you and your kids are presently covered by a soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s policy, panic is an understandable reaction. Navigating the health care industry during this time of personal upheaval is not anyone’s idea of an enjoyable experience.
Unless temporary orders are in place, there is nothing to prevent a party from changing insurance benefits, however, that is highly discouraged. For every ones protection, it is usually wise to get temporary order put in place to prevent a party from changing insurance provisions, pending the entry of the final decree.
In the Child Support Order, the court will address the issues of health insurance for the children, and also the payment of uninsured medical expenses.
Heath insurance coverage will terminate for a spouse on the entry of a Decree of Dissolution (this may not be the situation in the case of a Decree of Legal Separation, where insurance may be able to continue because the parties are still married). At that point, it will be up to each spouse to acquire their own health insurance. If cost is an issue, it can be considered as part of spousal maintenance if awarded. If one spouse has health insurance through employment, the federal COBRA act may kick in, allowing the other spouse to continue coverage for a period of time under that plan, provided they pay the out of pocket expense of the employer. If there is no plan available, the spouse will then need to look for plans under their employment, individual plans, or state sponsored plans.
The Renton law firm of Mogren, Glessner & Roti, represents clients in a variety of family law cases, including child support and spousal maintenance to provide for health insurance. We have 4 attorneys for you to chose from. Please visit our web page at http://www.mgrlaw.com/ for more information.