Health Insurance Concerns When Divorcing In Pennsylvania
While it is normal to have housing issues and asset allocation to be top of mind when entering the divorce process, health insurance is another important consideration that should not be overlooked. This is particularly true if you or multiple people within your family rely on one person’s coverage.
In Pennsylvania, there are set laws and regulations that govern health insurance concerns during a divorce. Consult with a Bucks County family attorney to have your questions answered and your options reviewed.
Asset Division and Continuation Coverage
Under Pennsylvania law, health insurance coverage is considered marital property, it is subject to equitable distribution during a divorce. This means that the value of the health insurance coverage, including premiums and deductibles, will be analyzed during the property division process.
If one spouse provides health insurance coverage for the other spouse, the value of that coverage is considered an asset. As a result, the non-providing spouse is entitled to a share of the value.
In addition, Pennsylvania law requires that health insurance coverage be maintained for a spouse and children during and after a divorce. Continuation coverage allows a spouse and dependent children to continue receiving health insurance coverage from the provider spouse’s plan for a limited time. Requests must be made within a specific timeframe and employers, both the employer of the spouse carrying the benefit and the other spouse’s employer, need to be contacted.
But it is important to note that continuation coverage is limited and enrollment is not automatic. There are a lot of rules to follow, and failing to comply with the set requirements can result in legal consequences, financial penalties, and loss of coverage.
Insurance Issues that Can Cause Disagreements
It is recommended to talk to an attorney when issues and disputes regarding health insurance arise during a divorce negotiation. Some of the common issues that arise include the following:
- Fights about how much a health insurance policy is worth, including premiums and deductibles, during marital asset review.
- Disputes over how long one party should be responsible for paying for continuation coverage or disputing who is eligible for which policy and why.
- Ineffective communication between spouses, their employers, and others that need to provide required information in order for continual coverage to be put in place.
To protect yourself from financial loss of unforeseen medical expenses through insurance gaps, consult with an experienced Bucks County family attorney about your separation, divorce and health insurance concerns. There are steps you can take to protect yourself. With a lawyer on your side, you’ll have a professional working to navigate the divorce process and secure the health insurance coverage you and your family need.
Are you accessing your health insurance through your spouse’s benefit plan? If you are moving toward a separation and divorce, you likely have questions about how to continue your healthcare objectives and stay insured. Talk to the legal team at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Even when it feels like there is nowhere to turn, there is a solution in reach. To get started, call 215-968-6602.