Becoming the best version of yourself

Divorce and Vanishing Healthcare

on February 27, 2012

I had my annual physical today.  When I arrived, they asked for my driver’s license and my health insurance card.  This year I had an insurance card to give them, last year I did not.  One of the things you will find as you go through the process of divorce is how many things you “took for granted” when you were married.  If you were a stay at home Mom/Wife, you most likely had health coverage through your spouse’s place of employment.  If you are currently working and have benefits, then this doesn’t apply to you.  If you are not working, and divorced – this can get really bad.

I’m a healthy person.  I take good care of myself, and beside the typical roller coaster of weight up and down, I don’t really have any health issues that would (or should) keep me from being able to get health insurance.  WRONG!  Think again.  I live in the state of Texas, most of the time, I’m glad I do.  When I started trying to apply for health insurance after my COBRA ran out – – – not so sure.  For some reason, in this state, you cannot convert the health insurance you had with your spouse and his company, into a private policy.  These people carried me for 30 years, but now suddenly I’m a risk??  WHAT??

I tried three different health care insurance companies to no avail.  United Healthcare / Golden “something”, Aetna and Humana.  The runaround I got was comical.  They look for anything and everything they can do not approve you.  And when they can’t find anything, they can accidentally enter something incorrectly and then never go back and fix it.  For example, I have never smoked a day in my life, but because the person doing the phone interview checked the “yes” box for smoking, I was denied.  Should be an easy fix right??  NOPE!!  I got the rejection letter and immediately called.  They said they tape their phone interviews and would go back and check, then get back with me.  SURE!!  Never happened.  I’m still fighting that one . . . .

Another thing that tripped me up, my Gynecologist has prescribed for me a drug called Effexor that helped reduce the symptoms of hot flashes.  Yep, I’m at that age where it can be 40 degrees outside and I’m in short sleeves, LOL!! So little did I know that it would cause me such trouble with insurance apps.  You see, Effexor is an anti-depressant, and I guess health insurance companies don’t want to insure someone that could be fighting depression.  When you try to talk to them about the WHY it was prescribed, it falls on deaf ears.  They have their guidelines, and if  you fall outside those guidelines just one millionth of an inch – forget it.  So I gutted it up and went off the Effexor.  Now their excuse?  They want to see me off of it for a multiple of years.  REALLY???

So I am left with only one way to be covered, and that’s through the State’s High Risk Pool.  I pay twice what I should be just to get this coverage.  My advice to you???  When you’re dealing with your divorce settlement, lobby for your costs for healthcare to be covered by your soon to be “ex” until you hit Medicare.  After all – I was married for 30 years, my COBRA ran out when I was less than 10 years away from Medicare.  I should have forced him to pay until Medicare.  Those vows that say “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health . . . . .” should include “and when I dump you for my younger girlfriend and leave you holding the bag for expenses you thought I would take care of in my roll as your spouse . . .”

When it comes to your settlement, remember those vows, remember those promises of “till death do us part” and remember that you’re not going to be able to live life like you were – ever again.


2 responses to “Divorce and Vanishing Healthcare

  1. Jinx Chiles says:

    This is exactly right. I have no medical insurance , because I am extremely healthy, and have one more year to go til Medicare. But……you can always use the humbling “Gold Card” to get prescriptions, etc. J. Chiles

  2. Wonderful comments. Health insurance is often the biggest problem for a divorced woman. It has to suddenly play a big part in employment decisions. Even forcing a unwanted job change to get coverage. Great post!

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