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Don't neglect health insurance during property division

While going through a divorce, the process may consume a person's thoughts. There is much to consider and plan, including child custody issues and property division. However, one factor many in Florida may neglect to consider is the how the divorce will affect their health insurance coverage. While health insurance is not considered an asset to be divided, some may mistakenly think they can continue on their spouses' policies, and this may leave them dangerously unprotected.

Individual spouses may have their own coverage through their respective employers, but some find it more cost-effective to share a policy through one spouse's job. A couple going through a divorce may believe their coverage continues until the end of the year, despite the divorce. This is typically untrue. In fact, once the divorce is finalized, health insurance coverage for a spouse ends.

The good news is that while the divorce process is still ongoing, the law requires the couple to maintain the economic status quo. This means the insurance policies cannot be canceled or one spouse cannot be removed from the policy until the process ends. If one spouse expects a major medical expense in the near future, the couple may explore the option of legal separation to maintain their coverage, but it is best to review one's policy carefully before doing so.

As with most elements of divorce, the advice of a Florida attorney regarding health insurance and other aspects of property division can save one trouble and conflict. Depending on the insurer, an attorney may be able to negotiate an extension of insurance coverage or advise one on the best options available. Having such an advocate is a proven advantage during the emotional divorce process.

Source: care2.com, "How Does Divorce Affect Health Insurance Coverage?", Jan. 22, 2018

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