Health Insurance After Divorce

If you're getting a divorce, you're want to focus on health insurance, even before you sign on the dotted line! Health insurance is complicated, especially if it's not offered through your work or if you're an independent contractor.

Comparing plans can take hours of work, and it requires reading through the details of each plan and comparing them yourself. Yes, it's an arduous process, but it's also a necessary evil. So, here are a few things you should remember:

1. Understand it before the divorce is over!
In the middle of divorce, you don't want to find out that you blew it and either have to pay outrageous premiums or forgo health insurance until the next open enrollment period. Do your homework before the divorce is over.

2. Remember the projected annual increases.
Don't forget to include the health insurance costs and the projected annual increases into your post-divorce budget. With health insurance costs rising every year, failing to factor in the increases into your budget can be a financial blow.

3. You must pay attention to the deadlines.
Once Obamacare was enacted, it dramatically changed when people could get health insurance. You can't sign up for health insurance whenever you want like before.

You either have to apply during he "Open Enrolment Period," (which runs from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016 this year) or you must apply during the "Special Enrollment Period."

4. Rethink COBRA.
It's not always best to keep COBRA until you find something better. Not only can COBRA be expensive, when you use this coverage, you're stuck with it until the next open enrollment period, which could cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary premiums.

5. Talk to a pro.
Unless you're fortunate to get good health insurance from your employer that's affordable, you should consider your options. Since health insurance is so complicated, the best thing you can do is get help by talking to an independent health insurance broker. He or she can help you get the best coverage at a price you can afford.

As of 2016, if you don't have health insurance, you pay a penalty of $695.00 per person, and $347.50 per child under the age of 18.

Contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney from Claery & Hammond, LLP.