If approved, a Private Health Care insurance policy is generally issued retroactively, but can be effective on the date of application if you desire. If, you were hospitalized or incurred other medical bills while the application was pending, those expenses would be covered. If your application is declined by the insurance company, you would not be covered for any expenses, even if the medical conditions were new. Even after you apply for private health care coverage and pay the initial premium, you’re not automatically covered. Only if the insurer later approves your application (a process that usually takes 30 to 60 days) will you have been covered from the date of application. That’s a long time to risk being without health insurance.

private health careThere is a way to protect yourself using short-term coverage while your application is being considered. Purchase a 60-day short-term health insurance policy to assure yourself of coverage for any injury or new medical condition occurs while your long-term health application is being reviewed. Simultaneously, apply for a long-term policy, requesting an effective date for 60 days from date of application to coincide with the expiration of your short-term health policy. If your long-term health application is rejected, you will have had coverage for new medical conditions while the application was being considered. Without the short-term coverage, the new health problems would have been uninsured.

Continuing health insurance after a divorce is a significant problem in the U.S. where 50% of marriages crash and burn. If both spouses are employed full-time with their own group health insurance coverage through their employer, it’s no problem. If one spouse has declined their employer-based coverage and chosen to be covered under their spouse’s policy, he must apply for coverage with his own employer within 30 days of being dropped from his ex’s policy, to avoid the necessity of qualifying medically.

If one spouse has group coverage through their employer and the other spouse doesn’t have group health coverage offered at work, the spouse being dropped from the health insurance policy should purchase a private health insurance policy through an insurance agent. Federal law guarantees coverage under HIPAA.

Kids make things more complicated. When both parents are covered by their own employers, the best thing is to continue the children’s coverage through the parent whose health policy is best for the children.

If the divorce decree orders the non-custodial parent to pay the children’s health insurance costs to age 19, but the other parent has them insured under their plan, these are some options:

  • If the parent (mother) with custody has the children covered on her plan, the father may reimburse her. However, reimbursements can be a source of conflict.
  • The father can move the children to his health insurance plan, within 30 days of the divorce without the kids having to qualify medically. But transferring coverage could be a problem if the mother doesn’t like the father’s policy, or his insurance won’t cover the children’s doctors.
  • The mother can set up an individual health policy covering just the children, with the medical bills sent to the father (if the kids have qualified medically).

The option of setting up an individual health policy can be the most attractive, especially if the father has the premiums paid electronically from his banking account and the mother’s mailing address is on the policy. In this way, the insurance premiums are always paid on time, so the possibility of a canceled policy and a uninsured claim are reduced. By having the mother’s mailing address on the policy, the mother gets copies of the policies and any changes to them, as well as late premium notices in case the electronic payment isn’t made for some reason.

A private health care plan also gives the parents more options in determining the coverage they want for their kids. And the coverage doesn’t end if the parents jobs end, which is better for the kid’s welfare, and much less bothersome for the parents.

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