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Could legal separation ensure continuation of insurance coverage?

As Las Vegas couples move through the process of divorce, it is easy to overlook many details that seem fairly inconsequential at the time but which, if overlooked, could result in significant trouble down the road. One of these commonly-overlooked details is health insurance. Under most employer-provided insurance policies, the finalization of a divorce means the end of insurance coverage for the non-employee spouse.

In order to avoid this, some couples choose to get a legal separation instead of a divorce in an attempt to maintain insurance coverage. While this may work in some situations, it is important to check with your provider before going this route. Some companies consider a legal separation to be the same as divorce for insurance coverage purposes, so the non-employee spouse could end up uninsured anyway.

Regardless of whether you decide to seek a divorce or a legal separation, it is important to be aware of and comply with your insurance company’s policies. Most companies have strict requirements for how and when a policyholder must inform them of a divorce. If you fail to comply with these rules, regardless of whether that failure was intentional or not, you could find yourself facing charges of insurance fraud.

Upon divorce, non-employee spouses should qualify for COBRA, which offers coverage for up to 36 months. Children usually can remain on their parent’s insurance policy after divorce, although the couple will have to decide how they are going to split insurance and health care costs such as premiums and co-pays.

Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Questions: Can I Still Get Medical Insurance From My Ex After Divorce?” Jeffrey Landers, May 7, 2012

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