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Can I Apply for Medicaid Before My Divorce is Final?

It is important for you and your family to have health insurance coverage. Typically, a family is covered by insurance that is offered through employment. Insurance is only available to immediate family members, so when a couple gets divorced, one party usually needs to find new coverage. There are several options for obtaining insurance. One option is to apply for Medicaid. Before you apply for Medicaid, you will want to understand how it works and what are your best options in order to get approved.

When Will My Current Insurance Coverage End?

The law requires that health insurance coverage continue until the divorce is finalized. A spouse cannot remove you from their policy until the divorce is complete. This means that if you have insurance through your spouse, you will keep it for the time being. However, generally, you will be removed from the policy following the termination of your marriage. At that time, you will need to make sure you have independent medical insurance coverage.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is an income-based health insurance benefit funded by the government for those who are considered low-income. Medicaid provides you and eligible family members with health insurance at no cost to you. The policy typically provides limited or basic coverage to people who otherwise would be unable to afford insurance payments on their own. There are various Medicaid programs such as health care coverage, long-term care, and services to promote mental and physical well-being.

Eligibility and Approval for Medicaid

When you decide to apply for Medicaid, you will want to do so when you are apt to obtain the best results. The government will review and approve your application based on your income and the income of your spouse if you are married. An experienced attorney will assist you in the application process and explain your options. After you apply for Medicaid, you will receive a determination based on the information you provided.

Spousal Impoverishment Protection

There are special rules in place that pertain to married couples when one of them is receiving long-term care, such as in a nursing home facility. Spousal impoverishment protection applies to Wisconsin couples who are in this situation. These protections allow income or asset exemptions. In the past, some married couples might get around the standard rules by obtaining a divorce in order to qualify for Medicaid. The spousal impoverishment protection in Wisconsin allows a couple to remain married and still participate in Medicaid while allowing the spouse to keep a portion of their assets. For example, if a couple’s combined assets are under $100,000, the spouse may keep half of the amount, and the spouse in the facility is allowed to keep $2,000.

Healthcare choices can be complicated. If you are eligible for Medicaid, you will need to obtain insurance that goes into effect as soon as your divorce is finalized. Call us today at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or by email to discuss the details of your situation.

Published May 6, 2024
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