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DIVORCE AND HEALTH INSURANCE IN VIRGINIA

A major concern of many couples in the process of dissolving their marriages is health insurance. This article will address concerns frequently expressed to the attorneys at The Hopkins Law Firm.

If I am separated does my spouse have to maintain my insurance?
When parties begin living separately to initiate the process of formalizing their divorce, they are obligated to maintain the marital estate until an agreement otherwise has been put in place or the Court orders otherwise. This means that the spouse carrying health insurance must continue to carry health insurance during separation as they did during the marriage. In the event that your spouse stopped carrying your health insurance, the attorneys at The Hopkins Law Firm are ready to efficiently assist you with this stressful situation.

Does my health insurance stop as soon as I am divorced?
In Virginia, a spouse is only obligated to carry health insurance while legally married. When a divorce is finalized, the carrying spouse will provide notice to their health insurance carrier of the exact date of divorce to cease covering their spouse’s health insurance benefits. The attorneys at The Hopkins Law Firm can assist you with planning accordingly for this event to avoid a lapse in coverage.

What if I am divorced outside of open enrollment? Will I be without health insurance?
Whenever a divorce occurs, the divorce counts as an event which triggers the ability to obtain health insurance coverage outside of open enrollment. The legal team at The Hopkins Law Firm always provides clients notice as soon as possible that their divorce is finalized to allow them to begin searching for health insurance coverage right away.

My spouse wants to maintain my health insurance after the divorce. Can we do that?
Since Virginia law only allows for insurance to be carried for spouses and dependents such as children or step children, your spouse cannot legally maintain your coverage after a divorce is finalized. However, they may agree to pay your health insurance costs upon receipt of documentation of the costs as a form of alimony should they be willing to do so. Sometimes employers will offer a continuing benefit to the former spouse for a period of time at their expense.

How does health insurance work for children born to the marriage after a divorce?
The parent carrying coverage generally agrees to continue covering the children as long as they are able to do so. The parties may agree to change coverage later if better benefits are available under different circumstances, such as a parent obtaining access to an improved health insurance plan through a new job or a spouses’ new job in the event that they remarry.

How are unreimbursed medical costs handled for children born to the marriage after a divorce?
Generally, the parties agree, or are Court ordered in the event that the parties cannot agree, to divide unreimbursed medical expenses on a percentage basis.
Some parties may choose to be equally responsible for these costs. Other parties may choose to be responsible on a pro rata basis, which means percentages in accordance to their incomes. Pro rata is ideal when there is a significant difference between the parties’ respective incomes.
Payment is remitted directly to the provider in most circumstances. Other parties may choose to have the parent present with the child pay the expenses at the time services are rendered, and receive reimbursement from the other parent later upon receipt of documentation of the expenses incurred.
The attorneys at The Hopkins Law Firm can help your family determine how to best handle these expenses.

My spouse is in the military and I want to maintain my military health insurance after the divorce. Can I do that?
Depending on the length of the marriage and the spouses’ military service, yes, a former military spouse may maintain military insurance at their sole expense after a divorce.
However, if the marriage and the military service do not overlap sufficiently to meet these requirements, the former spouse will not have the ability to continue utilizing the military health insurance they had access to during the marriage.
Michelle Hopkins has extensive knowledge about military divorces and is ready to assist potential clients with understanding what benefits they may be entitled to after a divorce is finalized.

How can The Hopkins Law Firm help me with my health insurance?
The attorneys at The Hopkins Law Firm are dedicated to passionately upholding their client’s best interests. During settlement negotiations, Michelle Hopkins and her team ensure that their clients have what they need to start establishing themselves independently and will advise against agreeing to terms that would be detrimental to their interests.
If you are tired of fighting in settlement negotiations and confused on what you should agree to, call The Hopkins Law Firm today at 571-248-2210 to obtain legal representation that is ready to fight for you.

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