Insurance Benefits And Divorce
There are serious financial implications of getting a divorce. In addition to impacting where you live and the amount of money you have at your disposal, it can also impact your rights to various benefits through insurance policies your spouse has in place. It is important to be aware of your options in regards to these policies during a divorce.
Your Rights To Certain Benefits In Divorce and Ways To Protect Yourself
There are three main types of benefits you may have been entitled to during your marriage that need to be addressed either during or in the immediate aftermath of a divorce. They are:
- Health Insurance Benefits
According to a CNBC News report, less than a third of all married couples have individual health insurance benefits. In the majority of cases, one spouse is covered through policies provided by the other’s employers. Under federal law, health insurance benefits you receive through your spouse automatically terminate in the event of a divorce. To prevent having to pay out of pocket for medical costs, there are several options:
- Continue coverage through COBRA: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) entitles divorced partners to continue receiving group health insurance through their spouse up to 36 months after a divorce.
- Obtain your own employer-provided benefits: If you are currently employed, you may be able to sign up for group policies your employer has. Otherwise, finding a job that provides these benefits is a top priority.
- Get discounted coverage through the federal marketplace: If you fall within income limits, you may be eligible for federally-subsidized health insurance.
- Life Insurance Benefits
The same as with health insurance benefits, you will no longer be entitled to employer-provided life insurance policies after a divorce. Any term life insurance you have with your spouse could be treated as marital property in divorce and subject to equitable division.
One of the larger issues concerning life insurance in divorce is your rights as a beneficiary. Expect your spouse to change their individual policies either during your divorce or soon after. However, they are required to make spousal support payments, such as in cases where one spouse sacrificed their own career for the sake of the other, they should be required to maintain a life insurance policy with you as the beneficiary in the aftermath.
- Disability Benefits
This is one area often overlooked in divorce. While you may no longer be entitled to benefits through individual or group policies, you could be eligible to collect a portion of your spouse’s Social Security disability benefits. Qualifications include being married at least ten years and having a spouse aged 62 or older.
Contact Us Today for Help
During a divorce, there are numerous decisions made that can impact your health and financial status in the aftermath. To ensure you are protected, get Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Vanessa L. Prieto on your side. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.