Family · Just my Thoughts

Another Health Care Insurance Adventure

I do realize that states make some laws and the federal government makes others. In some cases, the federal government turns a blind eye – rightfully so – to states where the state law may be in direct conflict with the federal law. While I agree with that in many cases, I am having a personal issue when it comes to health care.

While negotiating my divorce last year, I had lengthy discussions with my ex’s attorney regarding health care for our children. Mind you, this discussion would only cover children who are not married and who are 26 or under. Two out of the six children fall into this category and one is in college with the other one not in college any longer.

New York State’s family law allows a divorce attorney to use the age of 21 as when a parent can stop providing health insurance to children. I know children is not the word there. Probably better to call these adult children dependents. I went back and forth that the Affordable Care Act allows my ex to keep children on the insurance until the age of  26. I wanted that written into the divorce settlement. I wanted wording similar to until the age of 26 or when employed full-time with employer health insurance. I did not think this was unreasonable.

I eventually gave in to the lawyer’s insistence that this was not what NYS law allows. I opted to continue to negotiate for items of importance to me as I head towards mid-50’s than for the kids. I am hoping that the children’s father will have some conscience and continue to cover the two boys until 26 if necessary. I realize that this is an expense as once the kids are off his insurance he will only insure himself which will mean the premium will decrease.

I do not believe, and neither does my ex’s attorney, that NYS will ever change its family law. I do think that the state needs to in this particular area as it may become more important for other families.

Have you kept a child on employer provided health insurance past college graduation? Did your premiums increase? What do you think of NYS saying 21 is the age you must continue to provide insurance for children?


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