Are There Any Strategies So That I Can Continue To Be Covered On My Spouses Health Insurance During Separation
There are a couple of things you might consider discussing with your spouse.
First, you can remain on your spouses health insurance while youre separated since youre still married.
Legal separation is a whole different issue. As a general rule, most insurance carriers do not allow you to stay on your spouses health insurance plan once there has been a judgment of legal separation.
Thats not always the case though so be sure to check with your employer.
Another option is a complaint for a limited divorce, a form of a legal separation. It resolves issues similar to a regular divorce, but neither spouse could re-marry unless they applied to have this converted to a judgment of divorce.
A limited divorce is sometimes appropriate for religious purposes. When a limited divorce is granted, a court can order spousal and child support, award use and possession of the family home and certain types of personal property.
As rules tighten, there is an increasing number of insurance providers who are considering limited divorces in the same category as a judgment of divorce.
Check with an attorney or your medical insurance provider before going with this option.
What Is Domestic Partner Insurance
Some insurance companies offer domestic partner health insurance. These plans allow your partner to have the same benefits that a spouse would be entitled to. Your partner can be covered under your plan, and any children the two of you have in your custody would also be covered. You would not have to get married for them to use your insurance.
You and your partner can if your plan offers this option. You could get the same lower rate for your family that a married couple would be entitled to.
How Can You Add A Partner To Your Health Plan
Every insurance plan is different. Ask your plan administrator how to add your partner to your insurance. They’ll be able to tell you what kind of insurance your partner can receive, and what forms must be filled out so that your partner can be added as soon as possible.
You may have what is known as a “qualifying life event” if you’re newly established as domestic partners. This will let you change your health plan during special enrollment periods.
Most employer health plans will allow you to add a domestic partner if the plan includes this kind of coverage.
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Where Are Some Resources I Can Go To For More Information
Depending on your situation, start with one or more of these resources:
- Medicare call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to Medicare.com
Private or Local Resources
You should also check the plan documents or benefit summary for your spouses current employer to understand the COBRA options. If youre working cooperatively, just ask your spouse to contact the HR Department to obtain this information.
Then, you can work with a health insurance broker to explore private health insurance options and get any questions answered.
Special Enrollment Period And Qualifying Life Events
Following a divorce, those left without an insurance plan can try to enroll in a Marketplace health plan during a Special Enrollment Period. Special Enrollment periods allow individuals or families to enroll in a health plan outside of the designated Open Enrollment period, which typically falls between November 1st and December 15th each year. To qualify for a Special Enrollment period, applicants must have recently experienced a Qualifying Life Event . These are defined as significant life changes that may have prevented you from enrolling during Open Enrollment. There are many situations that can be considered QLEs, but they each fall into one of four basic categories.
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Should You Enroll Individually
Check to see if it costs less if each of you go on separate plans.
Also, some couples may have no choice but to enroll in separate health insurance plans as the Affordable Care Act rolls out. The new health care law has new requirements that affect the cost of insurance coverage. Your employer will be able to help you with those changes.
What Is A Medicaid Divorce
When planning for retirement, many couples realize they may make too much each month to qualify for nursing home assistance.
To get around this, some couples resort to what is known as a Medicaid divorce. This is a planning tool that helps reduce the overall amount of assets a couple has in their name. It helps each spouse qualify for Medicaid without losing a substantial amount of their assets.
Currently, Medicare does not cover the costs of long-term care. Medicaid assistance is necessary for many families who cannot afford the staggering costs of a nursing home.
Medicaid eligibility requires that a family spend down their assets to the point of poverty before Medicaid assistance may become available.
To get around this, in a Medicaid divorce, one spouse will offer nearly all of the couples assets to the other in a divorce settlement. A spouse can then apply for Medicaid benefits without having to report assets on a Medicaid application.
There are several possible implications in doing this that can have impacts on other benefits.
It is best to consult an elder law attorney before considering a possible Medicaid divorce.
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Insurance Is A Valuable Benefit
It’s important to keep in mind that health insurance through your employer is a benefit. If you do opt to have everyone on one plan, that may mean you or your partner will be losing out. That’s because employers pay a portion of your health insurance and that’s factored into the salary that they offer you.
The average annual premium for an employer-based insurance plan is $7,188 for an individual, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual employer health benefits survey. Workers pay an average of $1,242 toward the cost, which means employers pay the difference, roughly $6,000 a year â money you or your partner are leaving on the table if you opt to only do one plan.
Got A Question About Benefits And Insurance
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Repaying Health Insurance Benefits
There are good reasons to notify your employer of a divorce once its final. If you dont, you could face repercussions.
First, you could be liable for any benefits the health plan pays for your ex.
If you dont tell them and there is a claim, the insurance company can try and recover the cost of the claim from you, Tassey says.
Legally, you would have to reimburse your health plan.
Your ex-spouse will become liable for all medical expenses from the date of the divorce unless he or she opts for continued coverage through COBRA, Jurney says.
Second, there could be tax implications. An exs coverage cant be paid for with pre-tax dollars.
The value of the health coverage provided to the ex-spouse is taxable to the employee, to the extent it is not paid for with post-tax dollars, says Sonkin.
Do I Need Part D If I Have Drug Coverage Through My Spouse
Not necessarily. The rules are different for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. As long as you continue to receive creditable prescription drug coverage under the employer plan whether your spouse is still working or retired you do not need to sign up for a Part D plan.
If you lose this coverage at some point, you will then be eligible for a special enrollment period of two months to purchase a Part D plan without incurring a late-enrollment penalty.
Keep in mind
Youll have different decisions to make if the spouse with employer health coverage turns 65 first. If the older spouse enrolls in Medicare instead of keeping the employers insurance, the younger spouse may lose private health insurance coverage. If that happens, a younger spouse may need to find other sources of coverage before turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare.
One option is to continue the employers coverage through COBRA, which can last up to 36 months if you lose employer coverage because your spouse becomes entitled to Medicare. Or you can buy a private plan through the Affordable Care Act federal insurance marketplace or through a state that has its own exchange.
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How Do I Choose Domestic Partner Insurance
Choosing health insurance for you and your partner is like buying any type of health insurance. You will need to research your options, including premium costs, deductibles, and level of coverage. This is true whether you are buying private insurance from, getting a plan through the Marketplace, or picking a plan offered through your work.
If the health plans offered through your job do not cover partners unless you are married, you may want to look into buying private insurance.
Taking the time to research and review a health insurance policy will help you get the most out of your plan. Be sure to look up any terms you dont understand. You can also call customer service or talk to your HR department if there is anything you have questions about.
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A Fourth Option Buy Your Own Insurance
This option isnt used very often, but it might be something to consider. Even if you and your spouse are offered health insurance from your employers, you dont have to take it.
One or both spouses could consider declining coverage from their employer and instead buying private insurance for one or both spouses and/or children. You can also consider buying child-only health insurance. In some cases, you might get better coverage or lower cost from private insurance. Some companies even offer employees who decline employer insurance a small financial reward because you are saving them money.
Again, you should study all your insurance choices carefully and decide which offers the best benefits for the best price. Private insurance for individuals and families is available through the Affordable Care Act .
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My Family And I Are Offered Health Benefits Through My Job But We Cant Afford To Enroll My Employer Pays 100% Of The Premium For Workers But Contributes Nothing Toward The Cost Of Adding My Spouse And Kids Can We Try To Find A Better Deal In The Marketplace
You can always shop for coverage on the Marketplace, but your family members wont be eligible for tax credits to help pay the premium. When people are eligible for employer-sponsored coverage, they can only qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits if the employer-sponsored coverage is considered unaffordable. Coverage is considered unaffordable only if your cost for coverage for yourself, alone, under the employer plan is more than 9.83% of your income in 2021. The cost of adding your spouse and children to family coverage is not taken into consideration. So although you may feel your family coverage is unaffordable in practical terms, it is considered technically affordable. Sometimes this situation is referred to as the family glitch.
How Much Does It Cost To Add A Spouse To Health Insurance
The cost to add a spouse to an employer-sponsored health insurance plan can vary by plan and company. Heres what to consider when thinking about making a switch to a spouses health insurance.
- Pro:Being on one plan could potentially save you money: 13% of employers provide additional compensation or benefits to employees if they enroll in a spouses employer-sponsored health insurance plan.8
- Con: However, 11% of employers offering health plans do not allow spouses to enroll if they have coverage from another source. Also, 33% of large employers impose a fee for spousal health insurance, and the average spousal surcharge is $1,200 a year.9 Additionally, 10% of employers require spouses to pay more through a larger premium or higher cost share.10
When considering spousal health insurance, its best to review all the potential costs because additional fees could cancel out any savings you may get.
If youve recently lost your job and need health insurance, HealthMarkets can provide information on health insurance for married couples or domestic partnerships. Review all your coverage options, and find the right fit for your needs.
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I Am The Former Spouse Of A Federal Civil Servant What Rights And Options Do I Have For Healthcare Coverage
Under the Civil Service Retirement Spouse Equity Act of 1984, certain former spouses of current and former federal employees may qualify to enroll in a health benefits plan under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
A former spouse is eligible if that person:
- Was divorced from a Federal employee, or a former Federal employee receiving an annuity, during the period that the Federal government employed the person receiving the annuity
- Was covered as a family member under the FEHD at least one day during the 18 months before the marriage ended
- Is entitled to a portion of the Federal employees annuity or a former spouse survivor annuity and
- Has not remarried before age 55.
Former spouses must pay the full premium for FEHB coverage .
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Enroll Your New Family Member In Your Benefits
For most benefits, you must enroll your new family member within 31 days of the date they join your family or meet all the eligibility requirements. If you don’t enroll your family member during the PIE, you can enroll him or her during Open Enrollment. You may also enroll your family member in your medical plan only at any time with a 90-day waiting period.
Employees have the following options, depending on their benefits package. You can make changes through your UCPath online account.
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Figure Out Your Next Step
Unless youre financially independent and dont need a job to afford your lifestyle, youll need a plan for earning money after you quit your job. Its better to review your options before losing your current income stream.
Consider applying for jobs prior to putting in notice of your resignation. You might avoid having a lapse in income if you can start working in your new role as soon as your old one ends.
If you have entrepreneurial dreams and dont care to work for another boss, see our ultimate guide to starting a business. This list of home business ideas can help you get started with little capital.
You might decide you really just want to take some time off before jumping into your next employment pursuit. Taking a career sabbatical may mean you wont be seeing a paycheck coming in, but the time off can be energizing and might help you better concentrate on what youd like to do next.
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Employers And Domestic Partner Benefits
It used to be that couples had to be married to share an insurance plan. But many young adults ages 18 to 24 are more commonly living together without being married than living with a spouse. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15% of young adults ages 25 to 34 lived with a partner they weren’t married to in 2018, up from 12% in 2008.
Employers and insurance companies have evolved health benefits coverage over time as a result of these trends. Many offer coverage for domestic partners and provide it to more families.
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Can I Add My Boyfriend Or Girlfriend As A Beneficiary On My Medical Aid
20 July 2020
Yes. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is living with you, you will be able to add them as an adult dependant to your medical aid just as you would if they were your spouse. Adding your boyfriend or girlfriend onto your medical aid will mean costs savings, because theyll receive the same cover as you but at lower dependant rates.
Be aware that if youre adding your boyfriend or girlfriend as an adult dependant, theres usually a waiting period of about three months before theyre covered, and even longer if they have a pre-existing condition. Once this waiting period is over, as an adult dependant they will then have the same level of cover as the main member, and will have access to the same risk benefits.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.
More Answers: Who To Include In Your Household
- What if Im single without dependents?
- If you arent claimed as a tax dependent by someone else and have no tax dependents yourself: Count only yourself in your household.
- If you are claimed as a tax dependent by someone else: Youre counted as part of their household, not your own.
- How do I know which dependents income to include on my application?
You should include the income of all dependents on your application.
Note: Some dependents’ income may not be counted if they’re not required to file a federal income tax return for the year you want coverage. But include their income anyway. Your application will automatically exclude their income if they arent required to file.
- Do I have to file federal taxes and apply for insurance with my spouse if Im a victim of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or spousal abandonment?
No, you dont have to file jointly and you can still qualify for a premium tax credit and other savings.
If youre living apart from your spouse and are a victim of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or spousal abandonment and want to enroll in your own health plan separate from you abuser or abandoner, you can say youre unmarried on your Marketplace application without fear of penalty for mis-stating your marital status.
This will let you qualify for premium tax credits and other savings based on your income.
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