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  • Writer's pictureHarper

The Financial Mountain - Healthcare

Divorce brings sooo many changes that can fall through the cracks of life. You're just trying to .. handle kids and a new schedule, maybe rejoin the workforce, likely find a place to live, deal with the bullshit, get up in the morning and put on clothes, budget for groceries -- you know pick one, or three ... Who has time to worry or figure out the financial disaster that is now happening? It truly doesn't matter if you have a lot of money, or can't even find two pennies to rub together, you've gotta make some changes.

I'm going to make some assumptions here so I can make it easier to follow the plan. Not everyone will fall into this outline, and when you don't, please don't panic. There are about 5 million ways to skin a cat, so there are at least that many ways to manage yourself, and your family, as well. If one section doesn't apply, skip it ... if you need a different scenario or topic, send me a message - I'd be glad to address your general situation as well, I'm sure it will helps lots of others, too. I'll cover a few topics - Health Insurance, Car and Life Insurance, Bank Accounts, IRA accounts, and a few other financial issues in the next few posts, so watch for those to pop up and follow along for the series.

Today's topic .. Health Insurance

Most families share a health plan. So, let's assume you, your spouse and your kids were on an employer plan. Now, you have to figure out how to get insurance that is applicable to your newfound status. If you are the person who CARRIES the insurance, it is best if you retain your own health insurance and keep your kids where they are, some states even require this. There is an allowance, or "credit", for this coverage on the Child Support Worksheet for most states. So, you aren't getting the short straw by maintaining coverage. If you are the CARRIER, you typically pay your health insurance costs from your paycheck and then there are co-pays and/or deductibles and uncovered expenses (these may include dental or vision expenses). In Texas, this is a tricky formula, but in some states, it is a simple percentage of child support - your attorney will guide you here. If you don't have a divorce attorney (OMG WHY NOT!??), you can typically call the family court/child support office for answers to this type of question. For example, let's say Ohio has a 5% rule - that would mean that the NON-CARRIER would cover the first outlay of the unreimbursed medical costs up to 5% of the total yearly child support received -- child support yearly $3000 x 5% (0.05) which is $150. The NON-CARRIER would be responsible for that first $150 that is child cost only. The ex-spouse does not pay those costs for their former partner. Those unreimbursed medical costs could come in the form of co-pays, prescriptions, therapy, deductible, etc. Then the typical arrangement is that the parents will split the rest of the cost for the year at income splits. Your agreement could be different, but this is fairly typical across the board. The theory is that the CARRIER has already paid a portion of the unreimbursed medical cost in their child support payment to the NON-CARRIER, so that is where the initial payment responsibility for the NON-CARRIER comes in.

Now, with all of that behind us ... that still leaves someone out in the cold with regards to medical coverage. If that's you, strap in for the adventure. I'm not a fan of the Healthcare marketplace, BUT it is a lifesaver for people in your situation. There are LOTS of options out there for you to choose from -- Healthcare Cost Sharing, this is most often offered by churches and religious groups, but you don't have to be a member of a particular religion to participate in most; Individual Plan Coverage, these are companies like Anthem that offer single person plans; the Healthcare Marketplace, this is the general landing place for newly divorced individuals; and Medicaid, this is a program offered to typically low-income families or individuals who can't otherwise afford coverage. There are other options available, you'll have to ask around to find them. Don't let people scare you with the "you can't possibly afford coverage" thing. There are plans for most people. The subsidies help, and the options are many .. my advice here is LOOK AT ALL OF THE OPTIONS!! Compare critically and look at all costs involved.

If you've tried the Marketplace in your state and you don't make enough money so you get denied the ability to purchase coverage, DON'T PANIC .. and don't have a breakdown. Tons of people need a hand up! I got denied the ability to purchase coverage my first year being divorced. I had to accept Medicaid. I was mortified. I'd never had assistance before, and I was bothered by it. BUT, the program is made for people that need the hand up, and perhaps you qualify. Accept the help. Really. There is no shame in this help, this process, this loss of life as you've known it. We are all in the same boat, the boat just looks a little different for some people. Accepting help where you can get it means maybe you can manage a bit more yourself in a different area.

If I can make a suggestion .. talk to your divorced friends. Ask questions of them. How have they handled insurance? Talk to your attorney for some ideas, they likely have clients that run the gamut of plans. If you want specific info, send me a message, post in the comments, send an IG private message. We DO look at them, I promise!




Disclaimer...Two Divorced Girls is intended to share our experiences in the hope of saving others pain and misery.  We are not doctors.  We are not lawyers. We are not providing professional advice.  If you need professional help, you won't find this here and please look elsewhere. By using this site you  agree not to rely on us for those services that can only be provided by licensed professionals.

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