Finding Health Insurance After a Divorce

When you were married, your spouse may have included you on their health insurance policy through their employer. If you don't work or if you employer does not offer health insurance, you may be worried about what you will do about health insurance after you divorce. In an unstable economy with exorbitant health care costs, you want to have the insurance. Here are some tips for hanging onto coverage or getting new coverage after your divorce.
  • Ask that your spouse be required to keep you on the insurance policy after the divorce is final. Your soon-to-be ex may not want to do this because it could cost extra. But if your spouse's plan is a family plan and he will be keeping the children on the plan, it may not cost him a dime. You will likely have to pay for the out of pocket expenses and co-pays. If you have been a stay-at-home parent, your chances of getting the judge to order continuing health coverage for you are high.

  • If your spouse refuses to keep you on his plan, ask for cash to help defray the costs. If you will receive alimony, include the health insurance cost. If you are not receiving alimony, ask for either a lump sum of money (at least enough to pay for two years of coverage).

  • Shop around for coverage if you have to purchase it on your own. The Internet is a great resource for health insurance. You can get free rate quotes from companies like United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you are financially strapped but healthy, choose a low monthly premium and high deductible. If you suffer from a chronic disease like diabetes, you may need a low deductible and prescription plan. These types of coverage are not cheap and you may be required to take a physical before coverage can begin.

  • Consider a health savings account. These plans are 100 percent tax deductible. These plans let you put away some money to use only for health-related expenses.

  • Find out if you are eligible for a state or federally sponsored plan. If you are older, you may qualify for Medicare. Some states have a health insurance plan for those who can't afford health insurance on their own.

  • If you have children, make sure that no matter what, they have health insurance. You may have to force your ex to keep the children on his plan or pay for new insurance. Make sure you don't have to worry about their health.

  • If you can't afford the health insurance premiums, consider a medical discount card. You can purchase these cards for a small monthly fee. You will get discounts on most medical services, but tests and screenings are often not included. These plans also cover most major emergencies and surgeries. A prescription plan is often included. However, if you need prescriptions, most major pharmacies like Wal-Mart and Walgreen's now offer many generic prescriptions for about $4.

    (c) 2008 Cathi Adams.

    Cathi Adams is the author of "Divorce Secrets: What Every Women Should Know." This invaluable resource provides steps to ensure financial security to woman faced with the possibility of divorce. Visit her web site for a FREE report -What You Absolutely Must Know Before You Even THINK About Getting A Divorce:

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