Maintaining Your Health Insurance After Divorce

maze.gif (2707 bytes)Your health is the most important asset you have, and health insurance coverage is a close second.

If your health insurance is through your spouse’s employer, once the divorce is final you will need to obtain health insurance for yourself. It is very important that there is no gap in coverage, so you must deal with the issue early in divorce negotiations.

COBRA – It’s a Federal Law, Not a Snake

While your spouse may be required by the court to keep the health insurance for the children, he or she will be unable to maintain the health insurance for you after the divorce.

If your spouse works for a company that employs 20 or more people, then you are eligible to apply for continued health insurance coverage in his employer’s plan under a Federal law known as “COBRA” (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).

If the company has fewer than 20 employees, you might still be eligible for continued coverage under the mini-COBRA coverage laws of your state.  Most states have mini-COBRA, except Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. State mini-COBRA terms can differ quite significantly from those provided by the standard federal COBRA, so you’ll need to research the coverage terms and eligibility rules.

The 60 Day Rule

Your spouse’s employer is required to provide COBRA coverage for you, but only if you notify the health plan administrator within 60 days of becoming divorced. If you don’t give the administrator proper notice, then you will not be eligible for COBRA coverage.

Coverage Through Your Own Employer May be Cheaper

You may not want to be covered under COBRA if you can obtain health insurance through your employer. This is because your spouse’s employer is probably paying for all or a portion of your current health insurance premium.

Under COBRA, you will be responsible for the entire amount of the premium. (Actually, you may be charged 102% of the cost of the group rate.)

If your employer provides health insurance for you at little or no charge to you, then you are better off obtaining health insurance through your employer. You may also find that other private plans are less expensive and more permanent than the COBRA coverage.

To determine which ones would work for you, ask the personnel at your doctors’ offices what insurance plans they accept, and which ones make payments that are the most hassle-free.

COBRA Coverage Ends in 36 Months

COBRA coverage for a former spouse ends within 36 months. So you need to be prepared for this coverage to end and new health insurance to take its place.

If you have questions about obtaining new health insurance once the COBRA coverage expires, you should contact someone who is knowledgeable about the different kinds of health insurance plans available in your area, or go online.

Note: This information is not to be considered legal advice to create an attorney-client relationship. Laws and practices vary from state to state. Taking legal information out of context generally has negative consequences. If you have questions relating to your particular matter, you should contact an attorney in your state for advice.

468 thoughts on “Maintaining Your Health Insurance After Divorce”

  1. Never allow anyone to disrespect YOU!

    Filed for Divorce from my Spouse on August 3, 2023 and notified his Attorney and he was served, Same day I took my Daughter for her Medication review as well as mine for my Thyroid as mine as taken for Cancer. On August 4, 2023 My husband had his Company’s benefits back date mine & my daughters insurance to be cancelled as of July 31st, 2023. On August 5th, 2023 I went to pick up my Medication and my daughters that with insurance is normally $151.00 for mine and $121.00 for my daughters; this time it was showing up as $936.00 for hers and $1032.00 for mine. I sked them why is the medication so high, they said there is no insurance. So I called the insurance company that was just active 2 days prior and asked what occurred, they advised me that it was back dated on 8/4/2023 by the employer. It is now 8/29/2023, and I have not yet received anything from the insurance company nor the employer for my husband in which the insurance was a high deductible HSA plan, in which being a repeat Cancer patient I had already hit my Deductible of $4k for the year, and was less then a couple hundred away from my out of pocket max for the year! I carry my husband on Dental & Vision with my employer, as well as Life Insurances which will remain active until the divorce is final due to Texas/Travis county law “STAY” that requires no changes occur…which he is in direct violation of, Contempt of court of! But, I need my medical resolved NOW! What do you suggest I do? What can I do? Can I reach out to Company? Are they liable? They have not sent me Cobra yet!

    1. You say that the state law requires no changes to occur, so if your spouse removed you and your child from the insurance, you need to contact the court ASAP to have him held in contempt and get the insurance reinstated ASAP. I’m guessing they will hold him liable for the medical expenses that his contempt of the law has cost you.

  2. I wonder what would happen to my COBRA if my ex finds a new job? Can he still include me in his new health insurance? My current COBRA is provided by his former employer and it’s quite expensive, so I hope to switch to his new plan.

    1. If you are divorced and you are insured under his former plan under COBRA, that coverage will last 36 months, unless you terminate it earlier. If he goes to work for another employer, you won’t be his spouse and so you are not eligible for coverage under that employer’s plan. And you are right, COBRA coverage is quite expensive in comparison with plans available to you in the marketplace. So unless you have a compelling reason for sticking with COBRA despite the cost, I suggest you look into other coverage available to you.

  3. Please help. My ex husbands insurance company never took me off! I was NOT notified on Cobra and honestly did not know I wasn’t eligible for this coverage. I’m naive a bit and no one helped me with the divorce aspect. I am being billed 30,000. In feb 2021 they backdated my plan to August 2020 but we were divorced even yet before that! I’m
    Less concerned with bankruptcy and more concerned with jail time! Jesus ! I did not intentionally try to scam anyone I was not well informed. Plus these doctors chose this insurance over others while policy was active. I was unaware my ex husband didn’t go and take me off. For all I knew union covered ex spouse for 1-2 years! Please I need help I’m so nervous on top of these bills I’m looking at legal issues.

    1. That sounds like a difficult situation you are in. And you are quite correct, you are looking at legal issues. You’ll need to find someone in your area who is well versed on the laws of your state concerning these matters, perhaps an employment attorney.

      1. Is this something that happens often? He claims he did notify them of the divorce , like I said I did not have much to do with the divorce , it was drama free and he had the lawyer. They backdated it to the soonest enrollment date it seems , but we’ve been divorced technically longer ? It seems to have been an error to on their part? I’ve had insurance too on my own but it seems the hospitals chose this “secondary” insurance because of its coverage. Is it common for all retroactively rescinded plans to be reported authorities? I’m going to look into a lawyer because I was truly unaware and received no notices or paperwork from the insurance company. Not one.

  4. Hi there. I was legally divorced in early February but didn’t find out for sure that it had been finalized or the actual date until a couple of weeks ago. Due to Covid, I was notified by mail and hadn’t opened a bunch of my mail because I’d been sick for several weeks. During this time I went to the ER for a myriad of tests for Covid-like symptoms. Thankfully all of the tests came out negative/inconclusive — i.e. nothing was wrong. That was the only good news though.

    Last week, I called my ex’s benefits department (I’ve been on his employer-sponsored insurance for 15 years) to sign up for COBRA and was told that only the employee could do that, so I got him on the line and he confirmed that we were now divorced. Then the benefits person said that while I had a 60 day grace period following the “qualifying event” during which I was still covered under the insurance, we were supposed to have *notified* them within 30 days of the divorce becoming final and that we’d missed that. She said she would have to “look into” the situation because (supposedly) it was too late for me to get any coverage — that they couldn’t cover me under my ex’s plan anymore because I was an ex-spouse, but I also couldn’t get COBRA. Is that possible?

    The benefits person implied during the call that my only possible hope was to find the envelope with the postmark date from the court (containing the divorce decree) to “prove” that I didn’t know sooner that I was divorced. I’m almost positive I didn’t save the envelope though of course, I have the contents, i.e. the paperwork itself. The benefits person ended the call by saying she’d get back to us, but she hasn’t yet. I’m afraid to call and follow up because maybe not doing anything means I can stay on my ex’s insurance (sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell”) until re-enrollment at the end of the year?

    I feel like I shouldn’t be held to the timeline because when I filed for divorce (at the end of last year), I was told that the case would go to a judge “sometime in February” but they couldn’t give me an exact date, presumably because they were operating short-staffed because of the pandemic. Plus, I think it’s weird that there are apparently two different deadlines — one for notifying my ex’s employer of the qualifying event (for which I didn’t have access to the actual time when the divorce would be finalized, until after the fact) and one for the grace period during which I could still be on the plan. Your blogpost mentions a 60 day time notification period, during which I did contact the benefits office, but is it possible there could be another, earlier deadline in place in order to qualify for COBRA? Also because it is a very large company, I feel I’m being penalized for calling and telling them we had gotten divorced when they wouldn’t have known otherwise (I know it would still be wrong to keep the coverage, but it annoys me that honesty is potentially hurting me)

    Now, I’m worried that I will be hit with the costs for all of the tests I had done at the ER (some of which probably wouldn’t have been done if the ER doctors had known that I may actually not have insurance coverage…). In the meantime, my regular doctor scheduled me for a stress-echo test to try to find out what is actually wrong, but I think I’ll have to cancel it if I don’t know for sure that I have coverage. Ironically if 60 days is the true notification deadline then that would be this weekend — today actually — but now I’m also worried that this benefits person didn’t notate that I/we actually did contact them within that time period, so maybe I’m still out of luck?

    Your advice on how to proceed and what the COBRA rules are would be greatly appreciated!

    1. I don’t find anything that refers to a 30-day period for notification. Under COBRA, it is the responsibility of the covered employee and qualified beneficiaries to notify the employer within 60 days after the divorce or legal separation becomes final. If you were divorced in early February, then it is your responsibility and/or your ex’s responsibility to notify the employer. You both have done so, though you are worried that you are lacking proof. So let me give you some additional information that may help: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, an emergency regulation was issued April 29, 2020 by the DOL, IRS and Treasury. It says that group health plans must disregard the “Outbreak Period” (which began March 1, 2020) for purposes of COBRA premium payment deadlines, COBRA election deadlines, and deadlines for individuals to notify the group health plan of a qualifying event.

      I know how tempting it is to lay low and see what happens, but in my experience problems that go away by themselves come back by themselves, and you don’t want to find out that your coverage was dropped because you didn’t communicate. So I suggest you contact the plan administrator, let them know that you know about the emergency regulation, and set up payments for your continuing coverage.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I did as you said — called the plan administrator (via the benefits department) who informed me that it is my ex’s responsibility to notify his benefits office and provide a copy of the divorce decree. They assured me in the meantime that I’m covered under the same plan, so I’m moving forward with getting my follow-up tests and feel much relieved to know I still have insurance. I wrote down the person’s name whom I spoke with in case I need it in the future and also found out that they had in their file that I had called previously (within the 60-day period) so it looks like all my bases are covered. I really appreciate your letting me know about the emergency regulation — it was so good to be armed with the facts instead of just hoping it would all work out. Your advice was so timely and is much appreciated!

  5. Divorced for 22 years. The separation agreement and final decree both clearly state that husband shall pay for ex wife’s (me) health insurance as long as he has to pay alimony, which he still is paying. He basically kept me on his companies health insurance as an employee. Now that I’m on medicare, he paid those premiums plus my supplement for a year, but now says he doesn’t have to pay because I purchased a policy with better coverage and it was supposed to be “comparable”. No one told me that when I signed up for the supplement. Since he is court ordered to pay spousal support and health insurance, do you think the judge will make him make up the shortage for the past year and keep paying. Could he be in trouble for insurance fraud since I never left his company’s plan until age 65. It seems to me that he could have only kept me on their group policy if he listed me as an employee, but was never one. Thank you for your opinion in advance.

    1. Your husband says that he doesn’t have to pay the extra cost for insurance coverage that is better than what you had when you divorced. Is that what the divorce agreement says, or did he make that up? If the divorce agreement was silent about this, then you have a good argument that he is on the hook for full cost, no matter what the coverage. If he had you on his insurance as an employee and you weren’t, then the insurance company could have voided your coverage and refused to pay medical expenses you incurred. It doesn’t sound like that happened, so you were lucky.

  6. Currently divorcing wife after 14 years. Within the last year she was granted SSDI & Medicare coverage. Now with the impending finalization of the divorce she has changed her demands and asked to keep my medical coverage as a secondary insurance plan. I know it is against the law to keep a divorced spouse on my coverage but can a judge force me to give her secondary coverage when she already has Medicare. Why should she have 2 coverages when i only have one. Her greed is overwhelming.

    1. Your employer will not let you include an unrelated party as a dependent on your insurance, and that’s what your ex will be to you. It doesn’t matter what the judge does or does not order, they have no jurisdiction over the health plan administrators and providers.

      1. Thank you for your swift reply but I want to know if a judge can force me to pick up her part B or Part D? She has also all of a sudden demanded I vacate the condo we reside in and has demanded I facilitate her with a car of her own. I find it unfair that she is using her newly attained SSDI designation as a crutch to try and milk more out of me. She is basically saying you have to give all this cause I am now deemed disabled.

  7. We the middle of divorce we both agreed to sell the house I just woryed about the house selling money can my husband take all money with out me

  8. Been with my husband since 2000, we got legally married in 2015, I’ve been covered under his insurance for about 19 years. We have been off and on for the past 6 years and now that he has a girlfriend, is talking divorce. My question is, once we get a divorce, is he supposed to keep me on his insurance for any length of time? My employer is currently doing open enrollment and I’m not sure if I should get on. Help.

  9. I’m a 56 year old former stay-at-home mom in Ohio in a lousy marriage. I started back to work two years ago part-time, with the plan to go full-time once my youngest graduated. I’d then have health coverage of my own and could file for divorce. Then COVID hit, I was laid off and the company I worked for is closing. My daughter graduated but now the prospect of finding work, any work, is bleak… especially for a woman my age whose been out of the workforce. I can’t afford to leave and not have health coverage. Any thoughts about my options?

    1. Until the divorce is final you can stay on his insurance (if I’m reading this correctly, that’s what insurance you have currently). After that, you buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

  10. As part of our separation agreement, my ex husband was required to keep me on his health insurance that his work provides. They claimed that the insurance company assumed that I wouldn’t be covered anymore even though we were still separated and the insurance company did not even know about the seperation, so the insurance company “dropped me all on their own”. Is that even a thing that could happen? They claim that they filed the appropriate paperwork to keep me on the policy but the insurance company just decided to drop me. Our divorce just got finalized a week ago, but his employer was not aware of this and thought we were still separated….so technically he violated his seperation agreement… Am I eligible for the COBRA insurance?

    1. You say what happened and then ask if that could happen. Yes it must be something that could happen, because it did. But were they legally justified in dropping you? That’s another question — if you had a legal separation and the policy says that they do not cover legally separated spouses, then they were justified. And either way, you should be eligible for COBRA coverage if you apply within the proper number of days from the disqualifying event (divorce or legal separation). But meanwhile, check to see what other medical coverage would cost – it is generally cheaper than COBRA coverage.

      1. My understanding is that the Employer must notify the divorced spouse of COBRA options – and it’s then that the spouse would have 60 days to claim use of COBRA. If spouse was never noticed they were righted to obtain COBRA, the fault is on the plan administrator. Hefty fines for not notifying one of COBRA rights.

  11. please I need ur help… gf is divorced one of the stipulation was for her to remain on his insurance until 66 which she just turned in august..she became ill at the beginning of the year she thought she was still on his ins for he had changed jobs…she has 30 thousand dollars of hospital bills in her name…needless to say she is so stressed and it s been a nightmare for her..they return back to court this week….we re scared now we think he may have filed bankrupsey……..who will be responsible for these bills ???…will he get off?/…thank u

    1. If he was required in their divorce documents to provide her with insurance and he did not, then he may be liable to her for the costs she incurred when he failed to do so. But she is responsible to the parties who provided her with healthcare services, since their contract was with her, not him.

  12. How will my soon to be ex husbands company know he got a divorce. Hes not telling them. He wants to keep me and my daughter (his stepdaughter) on his medical insurance after the divorce. I cant afford medical insurance on my own and my daughter needs her depression medication and to continue to see her therapist, please advise, thank you.

    1. His children are still his children and he can continue to cover them as dependents. You are no longer family, and he cannot cover you. If he continues to cover you under his insurance, and you get sick, the insurance company can discover that you are divorced, refund the premiums he’s paid since the divorce, and demand that he repay all of the bills they’ve paid for you since the divorce. And you would be without insurance.

  13. My ex wife is directed per the divorce decree to provide (and pay for) our children’s health insurance out of the child support she receives. I just discovered that she has not had coverage for them all year. What should I do next?

  14. Hi,
    My wife has medical insurance coverage through my employer.
    Is it illegal or fraud to keep her on my policy?
    Medical insurance is important and I am currently looking for insurance for her. Is there a legal minimum that I need to provide? Certian deductables or co-pays?

    1. Your wife generally can be covered under your insurance. Sometimes it involves paying an additional premium. I don’t know about legal requirements since i ma not familiar with the laws of your state. You’ll need to ask someone who knows your local laws.

  15. I am covered under my husband’s Cigna plan in SC. I also have had original Medicare for the past 3 years. We are getting a divorce. Can I get a Medigap plan once I lose the Cigna coverage? For some reason Medicare considered the Cigna as my primary insurance. I don’t want to be penalized just because I am losing my Cigna group plan after divorce.

  16. Hello, I have been divorced for 2 yrs now. I got insurance through my job and have presented it to all my doctors as my only insurance. I have assumed because I was told by me ex that he turned in the divorce decree and myself and my son were no longer on his employee owned insurance. We were on a family plan. Now 2 yrs later he got remarried and went to add his new wife and they told him they never received the copy of the divorce decree he sent in. His insurance is telling him that he owes them $21,000 dollars for bills they paid for me. I have had insurance this hole time and have paid bills that come to my house, he wants me to fix this with his insurance company some how? I wouldn’t even know where to begin? I had no idea that his company never dropped us and he swears he didn’t either. Any idea what we should do?

    1. If your insurance through your job has been paying the medical bills, it is hard to believe that his insurance was paying those same bills without you even presenting that card, isn’t it? I guess they’ll have to show a record of what they paid on your behalf. Maybe you can get a record from your insurance company of what they paid on your behalf, and then his insurance company can apply for refunds for anything that was paid a second time by them.

  17. I am a Massachusetts resident and have been covered for ten years under my ex-spouses fully funded group coverage, though the company recently changed to self funded. I am apparently still covered, though I’m wondering if my eligibility is grandfathered due to my divorce occurring while the plan was fully funded. In addition, my ex has informed to me that I must pay directly the difference from a lower cost ’employee + dependents’ to ’employee + family’. I am wondering if I am responsible to pay this difference if I have remained eligible based on being grandfathered? There have been no triggering events.

    1. It is my understanding that the COBRA provisions say that a divorced spouse can be covered under her former spouse’s group insurance for 3 years if the employer is a large company. She must pay the prevailing cost of that insurance, and the employer can tack on 3% administrative costs as well. So for most people it is less expensive to get coverage under the Obamacare ACA marketplace plans.

  18. Question… I’m in California, separated in August 2017, filed for divorce May 2018. Had health insurance up until February 2018 at which time it got all screwed up due to Obamacare “paperwork” issues (according to the ex). Ex was dropped with daughter into Medi-Cal. Ex not happy with this, cancels and tries to re-instate but never does. Now myself and my daughter are without insurance. Can I go get insurance for my daughter and myself? Or do I still need to include my (soon to be) ex still? Our divorce is midway, not final yet. Looking for answers. Thank you.

  19. I’m on my “husband’s insurance and want to switch to mine. Our divorce finalized in October. His open enrollment period was in September and at that time, he kept me on the insurance because legally this was still okay. My open enrollment is December and at that time I add myself to my employers health insurance to become effective 1/1/2019. How does he go about removing me from his insurance if his divorce document shows it was finalized on October? Will I be required to pay back the medical premiums from Oct to Jan?

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  21. my ex-spouse failed to notify his employer regarding the divorce within the 60 day timeframe. Now the employer is saying I cannot file for Cobra. What can I do as I just was notified by the company I am not eligible?

  22. My name is Kimberly, I am legally married, but separated for over 2 years. I have a lot of health issues and dental problems. my “husband” took me off his health insurance through his job (he still works at) I asked him for help with half the divorce or just sign a no-fault divorce so he can keep his stuff and I will keep mine. he refused all of it. He was physical, sexually and mentally abusive soi did leave him. I couldn’t stay with someone like that. I left after 3 months of marrying him. and tried to get the marriage annulled since it was before 6 months. no avail. I am slowly dying inside without the infection from my teeth and heart. He refuses to pay for the divorce soi can get health insurance. Anyway, he still legally has to have me on the insurance policy?! Oh and he claims to be married to another chick when I got the papers to state we are. Please, I don’t know where to go and Can’t afford an attorney I am in process of fighting for SSI since I can’t work!! He also blocked me from everything, and he is fighting me every which way. I am losing my strength. PLEASE! any way of fixing this or divorcing him

    1. In many states, he has a duty to keep his wife on his insurance until the divorce is final. You’ll need to find out from an attorney or someone who knows the law whether that’s the case in your state and if so, what legal action you need to take to get back on his insurance.

  23. Patricia Thompson

    My divorce decree states that I’m to be covered my ex husband’s insurance until the end of the year or I get insurance through my employer. His HR Department at his job dropped me and almost dropped our daughter. He forgot to mention to his HR that it is a court order that I needed coverage. Now I’m in insurance limbo.

    1. His company was not a party to your divorce and so is not obligated to do what your divorce decree says. Employer plans generally provide for coverage of a spouse only to the date of divorce, since after that date she is no longer a spouse eligible for spousal coverage. So unless the date of final divorce was delayed in the divorce decree, you need to get your own policy ASAP.

  24. I have been on my ex husbands health policy for the past 5 years. Now I am re-married and want to remove myself from his policy. How would I go about that, and am I in the wrong for continuing to be on his policy after we were divorced? I am just now realizing this could be wrong, and we shouldn’t have done this, but I had no idea. How best should I proceed?

    Thank you!

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  26. I have health benefits though my job and my husband has me also on his health benefits. We are getting a divorce and before and after we got married I got ill and I needed both coverage to help me. What is the law if your husband cheated and you need the health coverage?

  27. I divorced my husband in 2014 but he never took me off his insurance at his employment. He has a family plan so he said it cost the same to have me and the children as it would just the children. I stopped using the plan and got my own insurance through my employer. Now we have decided to get remarried. Can I just start using his insurance again since I was never removed?

  28. My daughter has her husband on her health insurance through her employer. If they get divorced and she quit to come back home, can each of them get COBRA coverage? She went to her HR and they acted like they didn’t know.

    1. If they divorce, he is entitled to three years of COBRA coverage if she works for a company with 30 or more employees. If she quits, she is entitled to 18 months of COBRA coverage. But they may each find that coverage is less expensive through the AffordableCare Act insurance marketplace in their state.

  29. I am married 28 years and have only been employed part time for those years, never having my own insurance. Will I lose all benefits if I get divorced? Will I have to quit my job of 20 years to fi d a full time job with benefits, or can benefits be awarded in any case in a divorce?

    1. You can apply to get your own insurance policy under ACA if you don’t have coverage available at work. He cannot keep you on his insurance once the divorce is final, since you will no longer be his spouse, so a court cannot order him to keep you on.

  30. My husband got hurt at his job and had to go on social security and he payed for inc for his kids , but know i pay for it .my questions is can i go after his ex wife to pay me back from all of the inc i payed in

  31. Question I left my ex-wife on my coverage for a few months after we got divorced? Can my employer deduct the amount they paid for her from my wages? I live in New Jersey?

  32. Concerned Husband

    Hello my wife is taking a job in New York we live in Orlando with 2 children 4 & 6. We have insurance now but once she takes the new job will she be able to cover us in Orlando from New York?

  33. Hello, I’m confused and don’t know what to do. I’m about to file a divorce but there is a form that ask me for insurance information. My husband took me out of his policy in December and I haven’t gotten a new one by my self yet. What should I do? I want to file this forms right away

    1. I’m confused as to why your husband took you off his medical insurance policy if you don’t have a different one. Have him reinstate you immediately so you are not without coverage. It is likely that under your state law he has a duty to do this.

  34. omg. my ex and her lawyer suggest its ok to maintain the health benefits after divorce. isnt that very dangerous???im not into going to jail at age 53… please.

  35. My daughter is going thru a divorce In the state of Michigan, they are still legally married and her soon to be ex-husband had her removed from the insurance by telling his job they are no longer married, (which they are) the employer removed her without proof of divorce, is there anything she can do to get the insurance back and is there any repercussions him or the employer will face due to this?

    1. She needs to consult an attorney right away who is familiar with the laws of her state. Under most states, spouses have a duty to support each other, which would include health insurance. And some states have restraining orders to prevent people from making changes to their finances and insurance while going through divorce.

  36. I am currently double covered with insurance. Primary is through my husband’s current employer and secondary is through his retirement. We are in the process of divorcing after 32 years of marriage. I know that I will lose both coverages.

    I was diagnosed with colon cancer January of 2016, which has been taken care of; however, I am still having ongoing issues and complications from the original surgery in 2016 and then the incisional hernia surgery in 2017.

    I am not eligible to obtain private insurance because of the cancer for at least another three years. I work; however, they are very careful to keep any classified employee to a maximum of 29.5 hours a week.

    What are my options?

  37. My husband is court ordered to keep health insurance on me until the divorce is finalized. I start new insurance next month, but the discounts I receive can be revoked if I am still covered under another insurance. Can I call the current insurance company and have myself taken off or does he have to do that?

  38. What if the ex is a self employed doctor. We were married 30 years. Should he have been able to get me cobra for the months after our divorce? He canceled my health insurance before the divorce and now can’t get any.

    1. If your husband works for a company that employs 30 or more people, then you would be eligible for coverage after the divorce under COBRA legislation. But even if that’s possible, it may be that you’ll pay less under the Affordable Care Act if you apply for your own policy.

  39. My husband left me for another women,I filed for divorce after 17 years, since I’ve been on his insurance that long and all the health problems I have can there be a court order to keep me covered

    1. In most states, a spouse has the duty to provide for the other spouse, and to continue insurance coverage until the divorce is final. After the divorce, you will no longer be his spouse and so he can’t cover you under his employer plan as such.

  40. So my ex and I are going through divorce right now and divorce is not finalized yet! Do I have to wait for the finalized paper before changing my health insurance benefits at my employer or Can I change it now?

    1. Talk to your attorney to see what your obligations are under the laws in your state and the terms of your agreement. In most states, spouses have a fiduciary duty to each other for their well-being and so the insurance isn’t cancelled until the divorce is final.

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  42. My dad just served my mom divorce papers (after 40 years of marriage) the day before Thanksgiving. She contacted his insurance to find out when it ends for her and they told her that he needed to come sign papers to take her off immediately. But everything I’ve read says that the coverage lasts until the divorce goes through. She has medical issues that require treatment that can get expensive. But since they are filing taxes jointly she doesn’t get any breaks on the cost under Covered California. Is there a way to fight it with the insurance?

  43. A few questions about divorce, cobra, dual coverage –

    1. I read online employer needs to notified within 60 days. (I also see 30 days. which is it? state is Pa).
    Lets say we are divorced as of October 15th and employer is notified on the 60th day..
    a. which day the group health plan be discontinued? Would it be the 60th day (mid December), end
    of October? End of November? End of December?
    b. Can insurance refuse to pay claims after the divorce (October15th) if the employer group plan was
    discontinued at a later day, let’s say end of November?

    2. Cobra coverage will have same Premiums for Single and Single + 1 (no extra charge for +1)
    a. Can +1 be a domestic partner?

    3. I’ll be offered Medical, Dental and Vision under Cobra. If I take Cobra dental only, can I have dual
    coverage (one through my employer + Cobra)?
    If yes
    can they both be used for Orthodontist? I know Cobra plan can be used as secondary for
    children and we used 2 plans (mine and husbands’)getting 100% coverage for orthodontist.
    (50% each)… but I don’t know how it works when I have two plans for myself – can I use
    both? (both plans cover adults ortho)

    If no
    Can I take medical through my employer and dental through cobra?

    If I take Cobra dental…
    Can +1 be our child covered under the same plan by my ex-husband and if so, can both
    policies (same group plan) be used for orthodontist? (and will the same Birthday rule apply?)?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. An employee cannot cover a divorced spouse once the divorce is final (in your case Oct 15). If that divorced spouse wants COBRA coverage, the employer must be notified within 60 days (do it sooner rather than later). If the group plan terminates, then no one is covered after the date of termination, unless the plan provides for coverage to continue for a set number of months, often 18 months. Only one plan will pay for medical and dental costs, so if you have duplicate coverage under both plans, you are wasting money on duplicate insurance coverage.

  44. I am being covered under my husband and have a medical condition that is being treated. If we divorce and I get insurance through my employer, will they cover that same treatment or will it be considered a “pre existing condition” and they would not cover it?

      1. What if there’s a gap in coverage? If you have 60 days to decide whether you want cobra or not, you can potentially be without coverage for 60 days (I know I would go this route if it was the end of the year and then get huge high deductible employer’s plan in January. If I got sick within 60 days, I’d just get the cobra and they’d cover me from the day I lost my coverage)

  45. My wife wants a divorce after 9 years because over the past 5 years I’ve been ill and in and out of hospital. I am on her health insurance family plan. Cannot work because I’m totally disabled from job related accident. She claims she’s taking me off. What can I do to stay on that particular plan, because it covers most or all of my medical issues.

    1. In most states, a spouse has a duty to keep the insurance coverage until the divorce is final. After that you may be able to continue for 3 years on the plan if your wife works for a large employer, but of course you’ll have to pay the premiums. You may find it less expensive to obtain coverage under your own policy once the divorce is final.

  46. My parents are retired and planning on separating. Will insurance cover both parties even if one move to a different state?

    1. You don’t specify what insurance you are talking about. If it is health insurance, you’ll need to see what the policy says about coverage, whether it is limited to a specified geographic area or extends anywhere.

  47. I’m divorced, and am court ordered to keep my ex spouse insured. It has come to my attention that if court ordered, an ex spouse can remain on the policy, and the insurance company cannot remove them?

    1. If you are talking about an employee group health plan maintained by your employer, to my knowledge, that is not true. The court has no power to change the terms of the plan, so if it provides that coverage for a spouse ends upon divorce, then that’s what happens.

  48. We were divorced in May in California. i called my ex-husbands employer and the health insurance company telling them we are divorced. I need a letter of health care termination so I can get my own health insurance. The employer will not issue the letter because they say they can’t do anything without my ex-husband going in and signing papers. He won’t go in and do what he needs to do. Therefore, I can’t get new insurance because I haven’t been released from his insurance and I can’t use his insurance because I am not eligible to it. So I don’t really have any insurance. Is there anything I can do?

  49. I live in Massachusetts and in my divorce agreement we agreed that I would keep the kids on my employee sponsored health insurance. In an effort to reduce his child support obligation, he wants me to drop the kids so he can pick up the insurance. The kids live with me and I have always assumed responsibility for their medical and dental visits. Can he force me to remove the kids and select a plan just for myself?

  50. My husband filed for divorce in July. He has open enrollment November 1 is he obligated to keep me on his policy or can he not put me on?

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  52. I just got divorced. My ex-husband has been off my insurance since March. I kept my son on my plan so no changes needed once the divorce was final. We had an amicable divorce. My employer is asking for my divorce decree to see who is legally responsible for my son’s insurance along with other things. Is it the employer’s responsibility to enforce or even allowed to collect this information if I don’t want them to have it. I would like to keep my personal life separate from work life.

    1. Ask your attorney, but it seems to me that if your son is your dependent and you are allowed to cover dependents under your insurance at work, that is all that is required. You might tell your employer that you will give him/her your divorce decree if he/she shows you in the health plan rules that you are required to furnish this document.

  53. I call the courthouse and they said the divorce paper are signed, but not file, and after file they will send a notice on the mail. Does this mean my health insurance that I had with my husband thought his employer has end?

    1. Once your divorce is final, you can no longer be covered under your ex-husband’s health insurance. It doesn’t sound like your divorce is final, since the paperwork hasn’t been filed with the court.

  54. My ex and I divorced last year. We have a disabled son. Our custody agreements states that I will carry the health insurance for our son and we will split medical bills. My ex just asked for another copy of the insurance card even though my policy only covers myself and my son now (no longer a family policy). He claims it’s for emergencies. However, our son has complex medical needs and I know my ex wants to jump in and try to schedule medical procedures fr our son without my knowledge using my policy. Can he do this-schedule non-emergency appointments for our son using my policy? Shouldn’t i, the policy holder, be the one to do this?

    1. You are asking questions relating to the legal rights each of you have regarding your son’s well being and health care, and I cannot answer those. Please talk to an attorney to see how that works in your state, and what your divorce settlement provides.

  55. I am recently divorced and going through the paperwork to remove her from my company insurance and as beneficiary. She is self employed, so I guess cobra is not going to help her. Will she have to find her own policy? How long will she have to do this? What kind of trouble could she be in if she fails to do so? She will not accept my calls, so wondering how she will find this out.

    1. After you are divorced, she cannot be covered under your plan. At that point, she needs to get her own policy or apply for COBRA coverage, if that is available to her. If she fails to get health insurance, she will be responsible for paying 100% of her own medical bills, and she may have a penalty when she files her tax return for not maintaining coverage.

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  57. My brother’s wife filed for divorce in September of last year. This year her child from her first marriage, who is on my brother’s policy, has been having lots of issues that are being covered under his plan. Is he then the guarantor for her mounting medical bills even though he didn’t sign the admittance paper work at the facility where she has been checked in? Is he on the hook for what the insurance does not cover?

  58. My husband left me. six weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He agreed to stay married, financially provide for me and keep me on his insurance. I’ve had seven surgeries in four months. I am scheduled for at least three more and need treatment for five years. If he divorces me (Texas), can he still carry me on his Insurance should he choose to do so? It is the same cost to carry me with our children as just the children.

  59. After 25 years together and 3 children my husband and I legally separated because he wasn’t “happy”. He has since found the aforementioned happiness. I found out today that the papers have been filed with the court . A final judgement of divorce will be issued between 6 and 9 months. I am disabled and have many medical conditions that prevent me from working. I don’t know what to do, with no set date of when I will lose health insurance . I can not go without medical care or my prescriptions. As of now I have no income to pay for health insurance. I am 50 and cannot believe I am in this position. I am worrying about this now so I will have some sort of plan in place for whenever the divorce becomes final. Any advice will be appreciated

  60. I was married for 20 yrs then we got divorced.. we wasn’t told by the lawyer that he needed to take me off his insurance ! And I’ve been using his insurance til now and we been divorced for 5yrs now. I’m so scared what going to happen now . We thought because we were married for 20 yrs I would stay on his insurance. . We talked about getting remarried again .. 5 yrs we been alone and we honestly regret getting divorced . I was stupid to do that and he’s always been there for me ..what should we do remarried and not say nothing? I’m so scared cus it said i’s fraud but we honestly truly didn’t know . This is stressing me out I can’t even sleep ! Plz help

  61. I am unemployed and my husband will not add me to his company health insurance plan. He works fir a lodge corporation that employees more than 5,000 people. I am unable to contact his Human Resources Department to discuss. Any advice?

  62. My wife and I got a divorce that was final September 13, 2016. She notified her company on October 14, 2016. I was covered under her insurance. I saw a doctor on October 14 also. Near the end of October I received both a notice that I was COBRA eligible and that my current coverage would end 10/31/16 and a notice that my coverage ended 9/29/16. Can a company end coverage before they are notified of a qualifying event and leave me with no coverage without notifying me in advance?

  63. I am getting a divorce in the state of Ohio. My wife makes less than 20k per year. Her and her daughter will need health coverage. COBRA will be very expensive. Can she apply for Medicaid or something because her income is so low? Will they count my child support payments to her as income.

  64. My husband divorced almost two years ago and he provides health insurance for his kids. His insurance doesn’t cover everything and his ex wife still doesn’t have insurance and not sure if her employer offers one. According to her income, the kids would qualify for NJ Family care if she applies. She refuses to apply because she says it is beneath her. So we are left with large amounts of money whenever the kids go to the ER or need testing. Of course the bills come under my husband’s names and she also refuses to pay the 33% that was ordered. Can my husband taker her to court and make her apply for an insurance? Thank you

  65. I am on my wife’s health insurance. I was hurt at work over 2 years ago and I’m on workers comp insurance. If we get divorced how do i get health insurance when i cant work and i have no money coming in? Im a 42 year old male. I have applied for disability but until i am approved for that what can i do for income and health insurance?

  66. I hold the health insurance for my family. If my husband seeks divorce, would what I pay monthly be considered when we settle? I have over 800.00 dollars deducted each month. Would this amount be considered asset?

    1. Health insurance is not an asset, since it is simply a monthly contract with the insurance company to cover specific medical expenses that arise. Your monthly cost of medical insurance will be considered as part of your monthly expenses for which you need support.

  67. My exhusband and I divorced 3yrs ago. we have a court order divorce decree that states he had to have our 2 children covered medically. He is trying to take them off of dental and vision so my new husband is contemplating putting them on his insurance so they’d be covered for dental and vision, in doing so he’d have to cover them medically also. If we do that, how do I go about finding out which insurance would be their primary? Would their biological father’s be primary and step father secondary? Also do I have to tell my exhusband that we are getting coverage on them also, or can I just go straight through his insurance to let them know?

    1. I really don’t know the answers to the legal questions you are asking regarding the order in which insurance is provided. But it does seem to me that having two insurance policies is redundant, since you are not going to be able to collect twice for the same bill.

  68. Our divorce decree states that I am to be given the option to buy into COBRA. In the letter I received from his employer, I was told I am ineligible for COBRA because “there was no associated qualifying event with your removal from the group plan”

    He has a copy of the same divorce decree I have and it does state I have the option to sign up for continued insurance but at my expense. What qualifying event are they referring to?

    1. Divorce is the qualifying event. Your husband should contact the employer to find out what evidence they need. Meanwhile, check out other insurance options, since they are likely to be less expensive than COBRA coverage.

  69. I have been married 31 years my husband left six years ago he now wants a divorce and I’m fine with this although he has been paying me 50% of his paycheck for six years during this time I have paid off all our debt as he always said that we would one day be back together I have been abused by this man I have been abused by this man for 16 years physically in mentally I have fear that if I divorced him he will not leave me anything I don’t have a very good job I am a caregiver I’ve had the same job for 18 years he is now in the process of buying a new home with a girlfriend he wants me to sign a piece of paper saying that I Will not take this home during our divorce I have decided not to sign this paper and have hired a lawyer he does not know at this time I am afraid that when he finds out he will leave me nothing I’m just very afraid I have an ongoing medical condition he says if I try to get alimony from him he will not give me health insurance I have been threatened by this man for many years I am trying to find the strength to leave him but I am afraid I will not be able to take care of myself what can I do

  70. I am currently divorced through the state of Massachusetts but still insured under my ex-husbands plan. He is remarrying and I will lose my coverage. I would really like to fight to keep this plan. I was dx with MS before divorcing. Will having a pre-existing conditions help me at all or should I just suck it up and get my own?

    1. It is likely that you don’t have valid coverage since you are no longer his spouse, and employer plans cover spouses but not former spouses. That means that the insurance company could find out and refuse to pay your claims. Get your own insurance ASAP.

  71. My husband added his ex wife into his health insurance since we got married ..can he get in trouble with the insurance company?

  72. I was wondering,I divorced 10 years ago and happily married now , my ex is keep putting her self on my health insurance is my wife uses my address …what can i do to stop it . she calls insurance and lies she is my wife so she can get coverage .what do I do ?

  73. Never will I marry again

    Can a spouse be court order to continue health insurance on an ex that was already having health issues prior to the divorce and does the company have to honor the court ordered continued coverage?

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    1. What do you do when your ex is calling your insurance and says she is your wife and uses your address to get insurance coverage.we divorced 10 years ago. i am happily married.What do i do ? Is there any thing legal I can do ?

        1. My wife and I just filed final divorce papers two weeks ago … Supposedly should be finaled in a few months. She is on my policy at work ( large company)…we just went to doctor and she has lump in her breast and needs to have a biopsy done. God forbid she has cancer , I am concerned about insurance coverage if she has major issue. Am thinking about filing papers to put a hold on divorce until this gets figured out . Would my insurance take care of this being that it was detected prior to divorce?

  75. If a husband and his wife separates…but not legally…meaning not gotten a lawyer for a divorce yet…but lives in separate homes…and his wife is disabled…can he take the wife off of the health insurance?

  76. I just filed for a divorce from a 16 yrs of marriage. He lost his job for almost 5 yrs now and I carry my family insurance thru my work. He has a chronic UC and on IV treatment every month. Can I ask the court that I wish to continue to carry him in my insurance plan from my work even after the divorce is final?

  77. SHOULD my ex husband and I BOTH carry medical insurance on our two children, or is that a waste of money? (ie separate out of pocket minimums and deductables)

  78. Me and my husband divorced we were separated one year then we live together 14 years so can my ex-husband have health insurance over my company

  79. My retired spouse worked for the federal govt. I am also retired. We were covered under their rich BCBS plan with me as covered spouse. They take monthly deductions from my spouse’s pension to provide lifetime covg. Now it appears that a divorce may be in the offing. Will I be able to remain on that plan?

  80. I just got divorced through dissolution today and i dont have any other insurance but my ex-husband. I’m in OH could I still qualify for COBRA through his employer? If not, how should I go about to obtain health coverage, ACA exchange? Many thanks in advance for your reply.

  81. Cindy Schwartz

    Obama care seems to be 1% of income. $40,000 = $400/ month, $50,000 = $500 / month.
    Eligible for subsidies if there are dependents.
    If one of the divorced spouses has the children covered can they drop them from their plan to reduce the other spouses premium? Can the children be covered on both policies?

    1. Gosh, I don’t know the answer to the first question, and your attorney will be able to tell you what you can do, given the terms of your divorce agreement. I’m pretty sure that if the children are covered under both parties, you could only collect on one policy, so the premiums paid on the other policy would be a waste of money.

  82. Sherry Lenhart

    My husband is carrying Insurance on his daughters there mother take them to the dentist that isnt in his net work for his insurance can he refuse to pay for it because she wont take them to someone that is in his net work.

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  89. Hello- My companion has been married for over 40 years and is still married she has been separated for over 10 years. She lives in Pennsylvania. Her husband was employed and he told her as long as he is working he would take care of her health insurance which is did. He has now retired and is on Social Security and medicare but they are still married and he said he will no long provide her with health insurance ? I thought in PA as long as you are still married and there is no divorce decree ordered the husband under PA law must still pay for her health insurance ? Can someone answer my question ? Thanks in advance for your help.

  90. Hi,

    My wife provides health insurance through her employer a school district in California. She has offered to keep me on health insurance until September. I guess my question is will this be legal if our divorce is finalized prior to that?

  91. I have been divorced for 10 years. The divorce settlement agreement says I will provide health insurance and life insurance for my ex. After the divorce she switched to her employers plan and I added $25 a week to pay for premiums. I recently retired and asked for an alimony modification and it was denied. Now after all these years, she is seeking $25,000.00 in premiums for the past 10 years. I have to go to court next month and my attorney says she won’t represent me for a hearing. I feel like I am being hit twice. Shouldn’t her premiums have been part of the alimony? Also, I am now retired and poor health but the judge is requiring me to get life nsurance but nobody will cover me with the exception of the high premium, no medical requirement insurance. All I asked for was a modification and the judge has thrown the book at me.
    She said I could afford to pay the entire amount of alimony which turns out to be 98% of my pension. I am sinking fast.

  92. Hello Ginita,

    I live in the state of TX and considering separation with divorce to follow. However my husband is on my insurance through my employer and he also has Medicare because he is fully disabled and other health issues. My question is do you think I will have to continue to pay for him on my insurance after everything has been made legal? OR would it just be to complete out the rest of the planned year. We have only been married less than 3 years

  93. If we are divorced but are still in the same residency living together because we have kids and want to raise them together. Since we still all live together he still wants to cover the whole house…me him and the kids

  94. I recently remarried and when I went to add my wife to my employer paid insurance plan I found out my ex-wife was still on the plan. We divorced over 10 years ago. I was positive I took her off my plan but with the divorce, house selling and relocation of my job I may have forgot. I haven’t seen my ex in 10 years and she never filed a claim or used the plan. As far as she knew she wasn’t covered anymore. We both thought she was no longer covered. It was purely a accidental oversight/ mistake. There never was any intent to misrepresent or defraud the company I work for. They have been good to me.. My question is, Can I get in trouble for forgetting to remove my ex? Would I have to repay the cost for her? Can I get fired?
    I feel sick to my stomach since I discovered this mistake. Your response is greatly appreciated..

  95. I started a bariatric surgical procedure long before my husband decided he was going to leave me. My question, I will be covered for the actual procedure, but there is a two year maintence plan post procedure, can he be court ordered to keep me on his plan for the next 2 years?

  96. Trying to understand how insurance companies, under the Affordable Care Act, can cover domestic partners, yet there appears to be discretion for companies to discontinue coverage for a spouse associated with a legal separation. Technically you’re married. We are currently in a divorce action and I will lose a substantial health benefit from my husband’s medical retirement. After some discussion, we had considered for a Separate Maintenance agreement for religious reasons and for the possibility of maintenance of the health benefits. There are numerous websites that seem to address these as the basis for separation vs divorce but not so sure . It is a Boeing Retiree plan and we are in Kansas.

  97. I am currently paying my ex wife’s insurance through Cobra. She is now on full disability. Do I have to continue to pay her health insurance?

  98. My ex-husband remarried last summer and never told me. I lost my Insurance.
    I have medical bills from the time he did not inform me.
    Is he responsible for these bills?

  99. We live Florida. My exwife just presented me with insurance cards covering my 2 kids on her boyfriends health insurance. The kids live with me full time and she has visitation. My kids are on Medicaid at the present time. Her life is very unstable and I need tmy kids to be insured. Is this legal?

  100. My ex won’t supply any information on insurance for kids he picking and choosing the kids he wants to cover, it there I number I can call, to figure this out

  101. Pingback: Keeping Health Insurance After Divorce | Easy Health Insurance

      1. He won’t talk to me, the kids are adults, but Obama law , till 26, how can I find out, it there a number I can call

  102. Pingback: Keeping Spouse On Health Insurance After Divorce | Easy Health Insurance

  103. My ex husband has State insurance on our son but has it court ordered that I carry insurance on him through my job. Its extremely expensive and I cannot afford it. Is it possible that I could get this dropped and find and insurance that would be cheaper? he says that since he is covered on state that he cannot get the insurance dropped through court. I just want to see what my options are. Thank you

  104. In the divorce decree it stated that the husband agrees to keep the ex wife on the health insurance as long as the insurance company agrees” they said it was possible but it had to be seperate. My question is the money for his and my health insurance is taken out of his retirement check each month so he has been paying for it. The decree never said who has to pay hers ???
    Now he is looking for me to pay it ???

    1. If your divorce decree provides that he is to keep you on the policy, and the insurance company agrees, then it sounds as though he is supposed to pay for it. Otherwise, the divorce decree would have provided that you reimburse him for the cost in some way.

  105. I live in Ohio and my husband moved out 5 months ago and has been residing in KY (3.5 hours a way). I have kept him on my health insurance through my employer while we try to work through things. I do not know if our marriage will end in divorce at this time. I got a new job and will be transitioning to new employer in 2 weeks. Do I have to sign him up on my new health insurance plan with my new employer in Ohio? Also, Can I legally sign him up on my health insurance plan in Ohio if we are separated, but not legally yet?

    1. I would imagine that in Ohio you each have a duty to provide for each other, so you may have a duty to keep him on your insurance until you are divorced. Check with an attorney to be sure.

      As for whether you can add him to your new health insurance plan, he is your spouse and if the employer has a plan to cover spouses, then you can add him.

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  108. My boyfriend kept his EXwife (they divorced in Aug 2015) on his blue cross blue shield of Florida. Can he get in trouble for that? Will it cost him more?

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  112. Can an ex husband get in trouble for keeping his ex wife on his insurance? What happens if he never tells his job they are divorced? What if he is keeping her on there because she is bipolar and needs her medicines?

  113. If I am pregnant and my husband and I are just now deciding to divorce is he required to carry me on his insurance because I am pregnant? If so for how long?

    1. In general, spouses have a duty to support each other, so it is likely that he would continue covering you under his insurance as long as you are married. Check with an attorney to see what additional obligation he may have to you after you divorce.

  114. Hello, My husband and I have been separated for 6 years now and live in different states; however, we have a wonderful relationship now. He still carries me on his military insurance for health and I carry him on my dental through my employer. My employer is now stating that although were married we have to live in the same household in order for him to be covered under my dental insurance. This is on the state of Virginia. My question to them was “what if he was stationed in another state and I decided not to go with him and remain here, would he not be covered then”? I am still waiting on a response. It is my understanding that in the State of Virginia there is no law stating that a married couple must reside under the same roof. Do you ever hear about anything like this?

  115. I live in NJ and my husband who left me and put a restraining order on me is not living in Florida found a new job which means his insurance with his previous job will stop this 30th of the month. I knew by law if we were married he had to keep me on insurance but now what tho with a new job? there is is no legal separation in NJ. does he have to add me to his new insurance plan in his new job? please help.

  116. Can the custodial parent REFUSE health coverage provided for the child by the non custodial parent? My husband has offered to put his son on his company’s insurance since the mother does not have full coverage offered through her work. Out of spite, the mother is refusing and says she is going to enroll the boy on her limited coverage policy and then make my husband responsible for all of the medical charges that arise when the insurance won’t pay the claims. Can she do this? We are sending a certified letter to her with the offer to pay for health insurance to show the court if necessary.

  117. Cristobal Gutierrez

    I’ve submitted some claims for the time when I was under my former partner’s health insurance policy and the insurance company sent him the check with the claim’s money. They say they can only send such checks to the policy holder.
    My ex-partner is not answering my texts and emails.
    Is the insurance company’s policy legal?
    Is there a way that I can reclaim that check from my former partner?

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  120. Question. I am married, going through a divorce but not legally separated. The children and I have medicaid (I have been a sahm for 7 yrs). My husband wants to pull the kids off medicaid and add them to his insurance effectively ending my insurance. If he does so, since we are still married, does he have to include me as part of his insurance?

  121. My husband and I are separated and he has me on his health insurance plan. He is quitting his job and said he will pick up Obamacare for himself. I don’t have that option because I as permanently disabled and have Medicare. Medicare is too much money for me with their high deductible so Ibuave stayed on his insurance. Is he legally obligated to carry me on COBRA until his new employer offers healthcare?

    1. We aren’t attorneys and don’t know the laws of your state, so we can’t tell you what he is legally obligated to do. If COBRA is available to him through his employer, he can choose to continue that insurance, or purchase a plan of his own under the Affordable Care Act, so I doubt he would be legally obligated to carry you on COBRA. But he may be legally obligated to provide heath care coverage for you to cover the Medicare deductibles. You should check out how much that coverage would cost.

  122. If you are going through a divorce but do not share health insurance, once the divorce is final are your separate health insurers notified about the divorce?

  123. My husband has been carrying my Heath insurance for the 38 Years We’ve been married…5 legally he wants a divorce. Can I put in the divorce papers that I want 1/2 of the premium amount monthly to help pay for my insurance. I’m only 60. Yrs old and need insurance.

  124. Hello,
    Unfortunately the Affordable Healthcare Act has been anything but for my husband and I. We are both self employed with no employer sponsored insurance.

    We would save a considerable amount of money shold we divore and then qualify for subsidies. Would we be able to qualify if we are legally seperated with seperate residences or do we need to completely divorce?

    Happily married x 15 years but wiling to be happily divorced and together if we can finacially survive!


  125. But if the ex husband covers the kids and the mom gets in an accident with the kids is the father still responsible for the medical bills that had nothing to do with him

  126. My ex-husband and I divorced a few years back. We are the best of friends now and tried to make things work for the longest time. We did the on again off again thing for the longest time. We where both young and stubborn. Having children we really wanted to try and make things work and finally gave up about 2 years ago. Living together on and off even through the divorce and after we never really separated everything. He never removed me from his insurance. So when we finally decided it was time to go our separate ways I went and got my own insurance. I have recently found out that I was just removed last month. He is now wanting to put his fiance on his insurance. Do I need to be concerned?

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  129. I can’t seem to find a straight answer on this one….My divorce became final on 5/20/15. I am on my ex husband’s insurance. Am I covered through the end of the month (5/31) or the day that the divorce was actually finalized on 5/20?

  130. I became disabled in 1013. My wife and I are separated for the last 10 years. She carries me under her FEPBLUE plan. (Federal BCBS Plan) if we get a legal separation can she continue carrying me on her plan? We are both 62 and she will never retire and we live in Indiana.

  131. Dear Ginita, During our divorce separation my husband cancelled my dental insurance he receives through Tricare. Can he do that? Can I get my dental benefits back since our divorce has not yet finalized?

  132. Hello. My wife and I are in the process of going through a divorce. Currently, I am covered as a dependent under the group health coverage through her employer. I have some medical conditions that require me to see several different specialists, to get referrals, to check the processing of claims, etc. pretty frequently. Well, she has changed the password on the insurance company website to purposefully make it a hardship for me to contact the insurance company and to check on my claims and referrals. Is this allowed? She has used the changed password tactic before during this process when she doesn’t get what she wants. Am I going to have to spend thousands of dollars with my attorney on a hearing to try to have a judge tell her to stop changing the password and provide it so that I can access my healthcare during the divorce process or is there another option? Why can she get away with this? Thanks.

  133. I am getting a Divorce and my Insurance is through my Husband, I have no job and he is not giving me anything
    how do i get covered with very little money?
    Cobra is like 400/600 a month I cant do that

    1. You can get coverage under Obamacare. Go to the insurance exchange for your state to sign up — you can find it by putting the name of your state into a search engine along with health insurance or insurance exchange.

  134. My divorce will be final in May. I had breast cancer 5 years ago. The plastic surgeon told me she would not do reconstructive surgery until I quit smoking. 5 years later, I haven’t been able to quit. The thing they implanted in me to prepare for reconstructive surgery popped and I have had this useless piece of equipment inside of me for 5 years. As my husband wants a divorce and I will lose my health insurance under my husbands plan, I am wondering if it would be best for me to sign up for cobra or get a brand new policy on my own. I’m afraid that if I get a new policy, the surgery to remove this piece of medical equipment won’t be covered because it will be considered a pre existing condition whereas the cobra policy will cover me as it is basically an extension of my husbands policy which I was under when I first had the mastectomy… Is this right? Is it better for me to sign up for cobra?

    1. ObamaCare eliminates pre-existing conditions starting 2014. No more pre-existing conditions means you can’t be denied coverage, charged more, or denied treatment based on health status. Generally your own policy is less expensive than continuing coverage under COBRA legislation.

  135. Hi my dad is 42 and his wife is 22 thay are getting a devorce is she allowd to stay with another man while thay are going thrue the devorce

  136. My husband is wanting a divorce after 27 years of marriage. Three years ago I had to quit work for health reasons, and am now on SS Disability. He works for a large company, so my primary benefits are through his company, and I am now caring Medicare as a secondary for the past 6 months. I do have prescription drug card through his plan, and opted out of Medicare D drug plan, as some of the meds I am required to take are not covered by Medicare. I am 50 years old and trying to figure out best options and what I can reasonably request from him. I presume COBRA benefits will be accorded, but what else can I legally request from him long term?

  137. So me and my husband are living in two different homes, looking at getting a divorce. since we are not legally divorced or separated…. can he still be covered on my insurance. i was told that because we do not live together even though we are married he can not be under my insurance?? does this seem right???

  138. My husband was court ordered to pay and maintain life insurance on himself for my son, and one for me. He was also ordered to maintain health insurance on our son. He has not. I was wondering if my son will face a fine for no coverage. I have none to offer him either. Will my son face the federal fines?

  139. My ex-wife and I have been divorced for years. Our divorce decree states that I, the father, am to carry insurance for our child. My ex-wife now has the child on her insurance and is pick and choosing when to use my insurance as the primary and her insurance as the primary. Is this insurance fraud? Am I exposed for insurance fraud?

  140. My wife and I separated last year and I have been covering all her medical expenses, but my benefits will end soon, am I still responsible for her medical expenses, in a legal document it states I have to cover elsewhere, does elsewhere mean another form of employment or perhaps just getting my own.

    1. It sounds as though you are required to obtain and pay for medical insurance for her. If she isn’t covered under your employer plan, then if required to do so, you’ll have to purchase private insurance coverage if none is available through an employer.

  141. My ex wife is presently collecting benefits through my work, but my benefits may end and she claims that I should still cover her. I won’t have any benefits so how can I provide her with benefits. It states in the document that when my benefits expire, I have to get some or elsewhere, what does the term or elsewhere mean.

  142. My husband and I recently separated. We have been married 16 years. We agreed that I would homeschool my daughter and work part time. Since he decided he wanted to separate I have been looking for a full-time job. I have not been able to find one. Before he moved out we agreed on a set amount that he would pay me for child support. Now he is taking $100 a month off of that amount, and says it is because I am still on his health care plan. He says it is his reimbursement for the cost of keeping me on his plan. Can he do that? I still have not found work work, and I am barely making it financially.

    1. It is likely that in your state he is required to keep you covered under his health insurance. If you have a written agreement or court order, then you should be able to enforce it to have the full amount of support paid to you, if you did not agree that he could reduce it for the health care insurance and it is not written into the agreement. If the agreement is simply a verbal understanding between you, then there is nothing to enforce and he can do anything he wants.

  143. I have been divorced for almost four years. My ex-wife said she wants me or our 8 year old son to be on my life insurance policy. I will be getting married in the next year to my girlfriend. Is there such a law that makes me have to have my ex-wife on my life insurance policy??

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  148. I am in process of divorce and just found out my husband lied to employer to cover me on his health insurance before we were married. He told them we were living together at the time and we weren’t. Will this fall back on me or on him since I just recently found out. He works for a big company and he told me at the time that his employer would cover me since we were together for awhile

    Im on my husband insurance and its wonderful blue cross blue shield but all of a sudden my job offers insurance now . Do i have to take my jobs insurance or can i stay on my husbands. The job offers Kaiser

  150. I have been divorced for over a year my husband continued to carry my health insurance on his plan until we got in a fight he cancelled it and back dated it to the divorce. I have been using it. Now who will be responsible if the insurance refusses to pay old medical bill allready paid by them??

  151. My fiance maintains health coverage for his children. I have better health coverage, once we are married we want to move him onto my plan. Will I be able to cover my stepchildren and if so will this meet his obligation to provide coverage for them?

  152. Hi…

    We had filed for divorce and my husband refused to sign anything or show up for any court dates. The divorce was withdrawn and he has moved out-of-state. (home state is Ohio.) I cover his health insurance. What is the obligation now that he has moved without notifying me?


  153. Just started the divorce process, part of the issue is because even though my husband has a full time job and makes basically the same amount of money as I, I am the bill payer. Rent, utilities, health insurance pretty much everything. I have no idea where his money is going and I’m done with the relationship. Do I have to keep him on my health insurance policy during the divorce process. His employer does offer health insurance, and if I do, can I make him pay for the difference (which is quite substantial).

  154. My husband and I have not been married for very long. He was going to put me on his insurance through work since I am not currently working and am pregnant. He didn’t put me on the insurance yet and now we are doing a separation for the time being until we can work out some of our problems. In the meantime I am living in a different state until we figure this out. We do plan on getting back together but it’s going to be a little while. Can he still put me on his insurance and would I be able to use it while living in a different state? Thanks.

  155. My divorce settlement states I “shall continue to maintain my employer sponsored health insurance policy for my ex-wife’s benefit to the extent permissible by law and my individual policy. I shall be responsible for he payment of premiums” From what I’ve read in this forum that doesn’t seem like it should be possible. Should I remove her from my plan? She works at the same employer so she does have coverage if she needs it. please advise.

  156. If my husband and I are living in separate homes but not separated or divorced yet, can I drop him from my employer sponsored health insurance during open enrollment?

  157. I just found out my x was using my insurance apparently my benefits department never received the final dissolution papers of the divorce that was final 5 years ago. What will happen?

  158. I am going thru a divorce after being married for 17 years he decides that he no longer wants to be married. Our residence is Texas even though I was made to move out and moved to a home we had purchased in Louisiana to have when we retire and his kids and my kids live in La. also. I would like to know since I realize that his insurance will no longer carry me after the divorce and he’s told me that I will have to have Cobra. I filed for disability years ago and was denied due to his income. My question is can the judge have him pay for my Cobra or whatever insurance I can get until I file for disability and until I’m accepted. I am 53 years old and have worked most of my adult life up until I married him and I tried to work several jobs and could not keep a job due to medical conditions. He is going to have to pay spousal support and he has agreed to pay but only up to 2 years. If I don’t have a way or means to pay almost $700 a month for Cobra and my meds I’m asking in the divorce decree to have him pay for my insurance until I can get on disability. Have you ever heard of this before and if so is there any way possible? He was very abusive thru out the whole marriage and has agreed to pay for the house in La. along with paying for my car and the insurance on both. That leaves me to pay all of the utilities and not being able to afford insurance coverage on myself and my meds are very expensive. He told me to move out because he doesn’t want to be married anymore and has never loved me and wished he had never married me in the first place. He also said that I can’t make him love me. My Attorney says that is abuse due to keeping me like a puppet on a string and I raised his kids while he worked offshore at that time. He’s always told me that we have the perfect marriage. I’m so confused because he basically cleaned out savings and checking accounts without telling me anything and when I realized what happened he said that he knew he had done wrong and would fix it back like it was but he also paid for his own Post Office box. Now I can’t believe anything he says because of all the lies and deceitful ness that I’m going thru. He retained an Attorney and I was served on August 1, 2014 but before I was served I had a consult with an Attorney who I retained because I was in a state of shock. I’m just asking if you have ever heard of anyone else that has gone thru the same thing when it comes to the disability part? The law in Texas when it comes to spousal maintenance is 25 % of his gross monthly income and I have to count that when I file for income tax purposes. I also get half of his retirement but have to have it rolled over into an IRA or I have to pay taxes. This is not the life that I planned on having because he said we would always be married but now seems like I’m getting the short end of the stick just because he decided he didn’t want to married anymore and can’t give me a reason why he wants out. Texas is a no fault divorce state but I would still like to know why but that’s not as important as me keeping insurance until I receive my disability. Any help would be appreciated. I have the whole thing recorded per my Attorneys request to buy a recorder and he ranted for 50 minutes about everything I wrote in the earlier part of this conversation. Mediation will be Oct 2. Thank you…..I’m just in awe about the whole thing.

  159. Eventually, I will be getting divorced after 20 years of marriage and 26 years together. I am on expensive medications and have to see a dr. once a month 🙁
    How do I even go about checking into Obamacare to see what I will need to pay?
    I am self employed – even though initially I bring in 30-35 thousand a year – business expenses can take me down to an actual yearly paycheck of 10 to 20 thousand … my salary is not set in stone unfortunately.

    I just don’t even know where to begin to find out information about healthcare for myself … I am in my early 50’s. I probably should just go on social security with the health issues but its not very much income. Thank you so much for any direction

  160. Question during my husbands divorce his ex decided to continue to use the medical and dental coverage when she was told that she would be responsible for the bills! Insurance still payed invoices for drs but his hr lady told him that there is a high possibility that they will catch up to their mistake and in return make him repay the money’s paid out when they shouldn’t have been covered? In the divorce he is giving her 30k but hasn’t done it yet because he is waiting to see if the bills are going to turn on him? We have called drs and ins to let them know and yet they continue to pay for her visits and her daughters. At a loss with what to do but I feel she is being fraudulent knowing she isn’t covered and my want is to get all invoices that occurred after the final of the divorce and deduct them from what he gives her. Which is only fair to us case if he gives her the money and then months later insurance sends us a bill for 10,000 that they paid out, it in return falls on our financial responsibility even tho we notified her the insurance and the drs that she was no longer covered. What would be our best option he doesn’t want to file thru court on her and they didn’t have lawyers due to a non contested no children no mutual property divorce. He agreed to give her 30k and he kept the paid off home that was his prior to marriage but was paid off while they where married. Nothing was ordered it was voluntary.

  161. As per divorce contract, I am responsible for ex’s insurance until Sept 30. My lawyer said he would try to get the papers signed close to that time but unfortunately the final divorce went through on Aug 19th. I really don’t want to have to pay the $600+ for COBRA. I know I have 30 days to let my insurance know so I haven’t reported anything yet. I also know that my ex went to the doctor this week. If I am still paying premiums through my employer and wait another two weeks (still within the 30 days) to let my employer know, would the coverage that I have already paid for stay as is and then COBRA could start from when I inform them or would they backdate to the 19th and reimburse me for what I have already paid. Unless there was an emergency, I was thinking that maybe by the time the COBRA paperwork gets sent out then it may be past the Sept 30th date and it becomes a non-issue at that point, but since we now have this recent doctor visit, that may throw a wrench into things Just trying my hardest not to have to pay any more than I already have!

  162. In the midst of a divorce. My husband has moved out of state. He is the policy holder on my medical insurance and the court has ordered him to keep me on the policy until the divorce is final. Our insurance provider is refusing to send my explanations of benefits to my house and insists they go to my husband and his new girlfriend in another state. I don’t want them to be able to see my personal and medical information. I also want to see my explanations of benefits because I have significant deductibles and co pays that I personally have to pay. The insurance provider is refusing to send the information to me and refuses to stop sending it to him. Is there any laws to protect my privacy and rights during this time of waiting for the divorce to be final?

  163. I just found out that two of my husband’s life insurance policies list his ex wife as the beneficiary. We have only been married for two years, and two other policies list me as the beneficiary. I’m wondering if it is my right and if its worth hiring an attorney to fight his ex in court on this issue. I know our income paid the premiums for the past two years, but she was married to him for 22 years and they paid the premium during their marriage. What should I do?

  164. My wife of 14+ years and I have decided were separated. Due to we still get along and are a great parenting duo, were staying “married” cuz her insurance is so awesome she cares enough to still cover me. We’ll reassess things when our lease is up where we live. I’ve heard of more and more couples that don’t wanna be together that get along live together for the sake of the children-not to deceive the kids but to give both parents if neither is anxious to go buck wild sexually or anything.
    It’ll be interesting to see what else changes by the obama care and fine line stuff in regards to spousal insurance and divorce and legal desperation or how to not get messed over. Does anyone know what all else it’ll change? I’ve been covered by my spouse for years. She’s always worked for doctors and now a big insurance company as a coder and we’ve had great coverage but knowing I’d have to get my own possibly soon scares me as I’m only a seasonal employee for now and not guaranteed a full time spot for the fall.
    Not sure I could afford to pick something up if I was outta work for a few months till next season.

  165. I have been married 25 yrs and in 2000 and 2003 had Colon Cancer and Uterine Cancer and also have a gene that causes Cancer. I am going through a divorce and found out my husband is having an affair and gave me a std that causes cancer and I will have for the rest of my life and have to go to the doctor and take medicines for the rest of my life too. I only worked part time and we lived off of his money while I took care of him and the kids and the house. In the divorce how likely can we make him responsible for my Ins premiums? we live in Louisiana…..

  166. Question: My husband is a disabled retired Police Officer. I am under his insurance plan through the County. He was disabled while we were married. He wants to keep me on the insurance after our divorce is final in 4 months. Can this be done? We live in Maryland.

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  168. My company has our own health insurance. When the divorce is final, I will lose coverage through my ex. Will my employer pick me up due to change in status, or do I have to wait for open enrollment?

  169. My divorce was taking about 2 years. We signed the final divorce papers, and I was told it would take about 2-3 months for it to be finalized. I was being covered under my husband’s insurance until the divorce was finalized. I got very sick and had to go to the doctor, and was give 2 prescriptions. Everything was covered. I got the notice from my lawyer 3 days later that the papers were signed off by the judge and the divorce was final…but they were signed the day before I went to the doctor! I found out from my husband’s employer that my coverage would be terminated back to that date. So now I’ll be responsible for a crapload of doctors bills/prescription fees. The one prescription before insurance was $265!! Does anyone know if anything can be done about that? I can get insurance through my employer, which I’m in the process of setting up. Can that coverage be started from the date of my divorce finalization? Nice for the notice state of PA…..

  170. At what point does a ‘final’ divorce mean that an employee’s spouse’s coverage is discontinued? I do understand that it is not when the filing takes place, but rather when the divorce is final. This definition is important because If the state approved of a divorce request, but didn’t notify the filers that the divorce was final, who pays? Who is responsible for the coverage that was used during the period when the (now -ex) couple was waiting to hear back from the state that their divorce was final?

    My ex-wife filed for divorce in March and was told that we would receive a confirmation in the mail of our divorce being final, but still hasn’t received anything. Meanwhile, she called up the state and was told that “the judge signed it” on March 25. So, was I not covered since March 25th? What if I used the plan since then? Please explain! When did/does my coverage end?


    1. Since the judge signed on March 25, that was probably the date the divorce was final. You can request a copy of the signed decree from your courthouse. Meanwhile, contact her employer’s benefits department to get the paperwork to get COBRA coverage effective March 25. Once you have that in place, shop around to see if you can find a health insurance policy that is less expensive.

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    1. Does your x-husband have to pay your cobra insurance premium or are you responsible to pay cobra out of your pocket?

        1. I’m recently divorced I have been sent cobra paperwork it will cost me $375 a month I don’t work and live in a very small town is there another company to cobra with or another option that is not quite so steep.

  172. My son moved in with me full time last march and I have not seeked any support through my lawyer from my ex wife yet . However, my ex wife recently volentarily removed him( who is 18 yrs old) from her medical and dental coverage and is now refusing to pay anything for his orthodontic treatment or post secondary schooling. What is her legal responsibility for keeping him on benefits and paying for University costs .
    thank you

  173. Are there general regulations or policies on maintaining health coverage in case of divorce. Specifically regarding cases when you are the dependent on the health insurance and not the primary plan participant?
    Can the primary health ins. member decide to maintain former spouse on health plan if he choose to do so? Can this specific provision be part of a divorcee agreement ?

    Are there specific regulations that apply to such matter when the health insurance is a PPO and not an HMO, and the wife and husband live in 2 different States?
    Do health insurances companies have the arbitrary or discretionary power to terminate benefits in case of divorce? Is there a state or federal legislation to clarify one’s rights to health benefits from former spouses?

    1. If you are a spouse or dependent child, the employee can maintain you on the policy. After a divorce, you are not covered, since it isn’t allowed by the plan. Insurance companies don’t have arbitrary discretion, they must follow the plan. The federal COBRA legislation gives spouses the right to purchase insurance for three years from the plan in the case of large employers, but generally insurance in the marketplace is a less expensive option.

  174. Irrespective of the laws that govern ex-spouses’ not being allowed to have medical coverage on their spouses’ health plan, if the spouse does not inform the health plan of the divorce, do the insurance companies have ways of discovering that they were divorced? I have an ex-spouse who haunts me for “cruelty” for informing my insurer, saying if I hadn’t, she would still be covered!

    1. You are required to advise the insurance company of a change in your status, and they are required to provide information regarding COBRA extended coverage to your spouse. Generally she would find it less expensive to obtain her own insurance in the marketplace rather than through COBRA. The worst possible outcome would be that you didn’t inform your employer, she became ill or was in an accident, and at that time the insurance company discovers the fraud (yes, fraud) and refuses to make any payments.

  175. I have just notified my ex-spouse’s employer that we are divorced and I also faxed over a copy of the divorce decree effective March 9, 2014. I am going to apply for COBRA as soon as the application documents arrive in the mail. They do not use email. I have been told that I was removed from my ex’s insurance policy as of March 9, 2014. What concerns me is the interim time between the change. Fortunately, I am healthy but I am concerned if a health situation should arise. I was told once the COBRA application is received it would be retroactive to March 9th. If I were to visit a doctor next week do I have to pay out of pocket and then get reimbursed? If I need to refill a prescription does the same thing apply? In effect, I am without insurance until the paperwork is received by the employer (in this case COBRA is outsourced to another company)?

    1. Call the medical facilities and explain the situation, to see what they can do. Many will bill you, and then you can supply the insurance information when you get it. The pharmacy will probably need to be paid at the time you pick up the Rx, but ask them if the insurance discount can be retroactively applied and you can get a refund once your insurance comes through. For those of you out there who plan to get COBRA coverage, be sure to get the paperwork in place before the divorce is final so this doesn’t happen to you.

  176. I am in the process of getting a divorce & i have dental and vision coverage through my soon to be ex husband and he took me off already and our divorce just started… Legally.. am I eligible to be covered until the end of our divorce?

  177. My wife and I live in California. We recently got a legal separation in August of 2013. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 3 months later. Our provider is Blue Cross Anthem prudent buyer plan PPO through my employer. They have been covering the bills but just sent a letter that they are doing an audit to determine if she is still covered as a spouse under my plan. I’m very afraid they are going remove her even though we are still legally married. Can they do this and if so, what are her alternatives? Can we file papers with the court saying we have reconciled? Would that help?
    I appreciate your help so much.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles. Look at your plan to see if legal separation terminates coverage. If it does, then the only way to resume coverage for her would be as your spouse, so you would have to remarry. You may want to go to to see what health insurance would cost in the marketplace before you decide to take such a step.

      1. Ginita,
        Thank you for your prompt reply. I looked at our insurance plan and it says a spouse is not covered under a legal separation. But under my union benefits trust plan which oversees our health plans, only a divorce is listed as a cause for spousal termination. I’m wondering, since we are still married, but legally separated, if we reconciled, would the insurer still have to cover my wife? Or, once they found out that they were paying while we were legally separated would cause them to deny her in the future because of her medical condition. I appreciate any knowledge you might have.

  178. I have a question for a friend who is going through divorce. His wife covered him for health insurance until January of this year. When she re-enrolled at open enrollment last fall she dropped him and just kept the kids on. The divorce is not final and papers were not filed until about a month ago. He did not have a job at the time and just started being covered by a new job’s insurance plan this week. I think she should have had to continue coverage on him until the divorce is final or is that just a human thing to do instead of a legal obligation? He is considering going after back insurance pay since his new insurance does not cover some items that were previously covered under her plan. I know I covered my wife for 30 days after my divorce was final when she had to convert to her own plan.

  179. Hey Ginita! Thanks for taking the time to respond to everyone! My father is retired and mother is covered under his medical. Since he is retired, does COBRA still act as an option for my mother after divorce? They’ve been married for 37+ years, is he required to pay anything towards her medical after divorce? Thank you!!!!!

    1. The COBRA benefits that your dad has should extend to your mom, even in divorce. I don’t know what the laws of your state provide for payment of medical costs after divorce. In most states, each party is responsible for their own expenses after divorce.

  180. The CFO of my husbands company said the company would continue to insure me after the divorce. Is this something the company can do? Would the insurance company allow an ex wife to stay on a company policy. It’s BCBS. We live in Ga, but he works in Ma.

  181. CRLB NC Resident

    I’m going thru a separation that is getting real ugly real fast. I actually do not want to be on my wife’s insurance they provide her as the spousal surcharge is ridiculous. If i agree and she gives me 30 day notice can she have me removed from the insurance without me getting my own insurance? the insurance my jon provides me it’s just as bad if not worse so I do not want it either and I’m fine with paying the first year penalty for “obamacare” what can I do?

  182. My husband filed for divorce on Oct. 2nd, the case is still pending. I have had health insurance coverage through him (he works at a company with more than 50 employees). Unfortunately, instead of waiting until the divorce is final to notify his insurance company, he informed me he made changes during his company’s open enrollment period resulting in the termination of my coverage effective January 1st, 2014. As he resides in the state of Ohio, this is in violation of Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code 3105.71). After being informed of his “mistake” he agreed to pay for three months of coverage for me (or for as long as the court specifies), but I am unsure how to proceed.

    I submitted an application through and have been deemed possibly eligible for Medicaid, so it does not appear I can simply sign up for some plan for three months (I was informed by his lawyer to pick a plan through As I have several autoimmune diseases and various other serious health conditions, going without coverage for any period of time has serious repercussions. Even with all my medications, functioning is a daily struggle – I am in constant pain, often have difficulty walking, various cognitive issues, etc. Due to various circumstances – timing of refills, DEA quantity limitations for pharmacies, etc. – I will shortly be out of most of my medications, and can not afford to fill them out of pocket.

    I am self-employed, due to my health issues I am barely making any money (and my situation will get worse as I run out of medications) and can not afford to retain a lawyer. I live in a different state which makes things even more complicated. I can not afford to go to the scheduled hearing in January, have already spoken to various legal aid places in Ohio, but my case has not been accepted (without seeing me in person, it is hard to understand the extent to which my health issues affect me). I am afraid I will be forced to “accept” whatever he decides as I do not see any way to “fight” for my rights. I should note, all I want is health care coverage until the divorce is final – as would have been the case had he not terminated my insurance illegally.

    I have contacted the health insurance company and am waiting for a response from them, but would very much appreciate any advice on how to handle this situation.

  183. I was divorced a year ago and one of my requirements is to maintain medical insurance for my spouse.

    I know she has a low income and would qualify for a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act. But since I pay for the entire premium I am not sure that she would qualify for a subsidy under this scenario. Like everyone else, I would like to see if I can lower my premium payments for her insurance. Is there a way to make this work under the healthcare law?

    And to answer some of the questions above, my ex went COBRA for a while which was $628 per month. The same plan under a personal plan is $378. So we went COBRA until we knew she would qualify for an individual plan. Now with the Affordable Healthcare Act, there may also be tax subsidies to take advantage of.

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  187. I have been divorced for 6 months, and found out this week, quite by accident, that my ex’s company is changing insurance companies on Jan.1. I was not informed and when I called his company, their in-house expert said she had no information regarding the new carrier! I find it hard to believe that she knew nothing 10 days before such a huge change so I wondered whose responsibility it is to keep me informed about things like this? I do not have a civil relationship with my ex and if I hadn’t found out on my own, I would have just written the check for the cancelled company and been what, uninsured?

    1. If you are covered under the COBRA provisions that extend insurance to you for up to three years as a divorced spouse, you have an independent relationship with the insurance company and employer, and it is up to them to keep you informed, not your ex-husband’s responsibility.

      1. Janet, If you are covered by COBRA under your ex-husband’s plan, as Ginita said, the carrier and the employer are required to notify COBRA participants of any changes to the policy. January 1 is the usual open enrollment effective date, so the changes are probably occurring now and continue to work through the employer. If your ex’s company has less than 50 employees, the new healthcare law caused major increases in premiums for many. They got temporary relief from this at the last minute, so it is quite possible that he company representative is still trying to figure things out.

  188. Hello. My ex-husband currently has health insurance for the kids through his work, but he lives out of state and the children live with me. My question is are the kids still covered even though they don’t live in the same state as he does? Thanks for any insight you could give.

    1. If the health insurance plan only covers visits to local medical facilities, then the coverage wouldn’t be effective for your family. But that is rare — read the literature provided for the insurance plan to see what the coverage is.

  189. My mother in-law is staying married to her convicted sex offender husband just so he can have health insurance. They do not speak, live together, or anything else that a real married couple would do. Once again they are only doing this just to keep him covered. I suppose my question is, is this considered fraud ? How much trouble would this cause for her with her employer, law enforcement, and her insurance company?

    1. As long as they are legally married, he is still her spouse and eligible to be covered as such under the employer health insurance program. I doubt that law enforcement would require a sex offender to divorce, so I can’t imagine that there is anything illegal in them continuing to be married.

  190. I divorced in 2011. The papers say my ex husband was responsible for insurance for our children. I pay child support to him as my income is greater. He switched jobs earlier this year and the insurance premium would have risen considerably. We neglected to check the divorce papers and I elected coverage for the children on my plan, instead. We have just realized the mistake and are wondering what to do. My ex can’t put the children back in his plan now because his open enrollment has ended. My insurance company may deny claims because the decree said he was to carry the insurance. Not sure what to do!?! We certainly don’t want to lose coverage for our children.

    1. Where did you get the information that your insurance company may deny claims for coverage of your dependent children? They qualify as your dependents, you pay the premiums, so I don’t see how that can be. You can continue as things are now and do nothing, change the agreement to reflect that the coverage has moved to you, or have him insure them at next open enrollment.

      1. The insurance company is asking for a copy of the divorce decree. It shows the divorce date as being almost 2 years prior to the qualifying change. It also states insurance should be covered by the father. Hearing horror stories about insurance companies, we are just afraid this may give them grounds to deny claims, or not allow me (the mother) to carry the insurance for our children.

        What would be needed to change the agreement to state either parent may carry the children on their insurance? Just file some document with the court? Any idea what document that would be?

        Thanks for your help Ginita. It is really appreciated!

  191. My parents are divorcing after 41 yrs of marriage, my mother is currently covered under my dad’s retirement package for medical coverage only. She also has Medicare, which I believe is primary and Cigna secondary. Can my mother get secondary coverage from any health insurer? or should she even bother because of the costs at her age? (79) She’s under the impression that she needs to sign up for obamacarfe before the deadline. Please advise.

  192. I live in Louisiana, and I am getting a divorce after 15 years of marriage. She has moved to WY, and I am in the open enrollment process at my work. We have not gone to court yet, but I am ready to take her off of my insurance for financial purposes. My son lives with me and I will continue to ensure that he is insured. By law, do I have to maintain insurance on her?

  193. my ? is, me & spouse are separated and looking to possibly divorce .. if we do go thru with divorce, can spouse still maintain group term life insurance coverage from work on me ?

  194. I have been married for 11 yrs. and separated for about 6 yrs. however not legally. I have Multiple Sclerosis. My husband has me under his health insurance. My question is can he be legally responsible to pay Cobra. In my divorce can I legally ask him to continue paying my health insurance or Cobras premium. I currently unemployed.

  195. I am in Virginia. My wife moved out in 2011 to North Carolina and we have been unable to reconcile. We have finally decided that it’s best if we seperate. I have never been able to afford to adopt my step-children but have accepted them as mine in my heart. My son is 21 and my daughter is ten. Since we are still married on paper I can keep everyone on insurance including my son. I want to continue to keep the kids on insurance after divorce. Is my only option to somehow come up with the money for adoption, even for my 21yo son? Step-child adoption is ridiculously expensive and employer adoption reimbursement does not include step-children, which I think is short-sighted and stupid.

    Thank you,

  196. My husband and i have been separated and living separate lives since June. I havent been working in over a year. He moved us to a small town before we separate and i havent had any luck in finding a job. He recently let me know that since we are no longer living under the same house, he is now going to take me out of his health insurance. Can he do this if im not working and we’re still married?

    1. The laws of each state are different, but in most states he has a duty to keep you on existing health care plans until the divorce is final. But check with an attorney in your locale to find out the answers to your legal questions.

  197. I’m 26 years old. I have kidney failure 2 years and I just got kidney transplant 3 months ago. My question is can i mantain insured on my husband’s employee health insurance after divorcing? Our insurance is United Healthcare. He works for that company 5 years. I really need a good and cheap insurance for my health situation. If i can’t keep this insurance, would you know any health insurance which is from government issue for kidney patient? I used to have medicare for kidney patient. And I had to paid almost 100 bucks a month for nothing cause it was a secondary insurance and It just cover only 2 years after transplant. So, I already cancelled it after 1 year paying for it because i thought i had on waiting list for kidney at least 5 years. That means I waste a lot of money for nothing while I had primary insurance from my husband.
    If anyone know anything for my situation, please please please help me!
    Thank you so much,

    1. You cannot stay on your spouse’s insurance after the divorce is final. You and he could agree to delay the final divorce, dividing up everything and filing the papers but asking that your marital status not be terminated, so you are still technically his wife and eligible to be on his insurance as such. Or you can check out the Obamacare costs at the health insurance website for your state or the federal government, to see if you qualify for subsidized insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act.

  198. If my son and I are covered under my husband’s insurance and we get a divorce will my son still be able to be covered even if he is a stepchild?

    1. He can continue to be covered if he falls under the definition of a dependent child in the insurance plan. Generally that would be natural or adopted children or children by marriage (which he wouldn’t be after the divorce unless he has been adopted by your husband).

  199. I have COBRA insurance which started when my spouse bifurcated the marital status only to remarry. COBRA started in 2011 the divorce is not final as spouse is hiding assets, drawing it out etc. So, this means that there will be no settlement or trial when the COBRA express. Under law spouse is to continue insurance until divorce is settled and to maintain coverage so I am not “harmed” . what are the options after COBRA expires for this type of situation? Do I find a policy that is equal to my coverage, go to court and spouse pays that? Do I contact the current provider rep who seems nice and is accessible via email and ask what the available options are? my attorney says that we will need to go court to keep coverage etc and status quo but I need to know what route to take on the insurance end, something the attorney is not an expert in. Any suggestions?

    1. Generally you can continue the same coverage after COBRA, or switch to coverage under the Affordable Care Act. You can certainly contact the current provider representative about what the current coverage would cost, and you can go to your state’s covered care website after Oct 1 to see what the cost would be of comparable insurance under your state’s plan.

    2. CA inProPerYrs

      Living in lawless land here,

      Can a spouse contact the employer?
      My spouse canceled my insurance with his employer stating his employer insisted.
      Now, I’v been laid-off, dragged thru the mud and then some including high stakes retirement losses to me the petitioner.

      I was thinking of sending spouse and CC: to his employer (and may in fact be his partner) this rule and ask for either to pick up the tab until this mess is final or let the email serve notice I plan to be reimbursed. Your opinion or thoughts will be appreciated.

      BTW.. 5 years and I still don’t know if spouse is a LLC with his company! My attorney fees and Spousal Support are set for trial and just delayed again, yesterday. BK without my assets and the ability to negotiate.
      The system has no Sheriff I can find for the “under 64 and never been hit group of “Long term” marriages with assets not accounted for and without representation”.
      in Pro Per and unequal access

        1. I have been married for 32 years and am seoerated, not legally . I am disabled .
          Insurance is needed. Do I stay seoerated to remain insured?or are their any other options for insurance . I am on my husbands company policy.

  200. Ginita, Just to comment on your post… it would seem to me that since a legal separation is NOT a divorce and the two parties ARE STILL legally married, that a company could not remove a separated spouse from a health plan. After all, what IF they reconcile?? And your point is right – she still IS a wife prior to divorce. Do you have any insight on how an employer can do this… I am in the middle of a divorce after 24 years and need to STAY on my husbands policy for as long as possible. We were going to just stay separated but then I started reading where companies are doing this now (removing separated spouses). Just wondering HOW they can do this legally??

    1. A legal separation is the same as a divorce in all respects, except that the spouses are not free to remarry. Since financial and legal ties are severed, the employer is not under any mandate to cover the non-employee spouse. If the Affordable Health Care Act doesn’t give you any relief, then you should probably stay separated but don’t go through a legal separation or divorce.

  201. I am looking into divorce after 25 years of marriage.

    I have no animosity towards my wife and I want to make sure she is taken care of. Her income potential is much lower than mine, so I will have to pay her alimony which is fair.

    However, I don’t know how to take care of her health insurance other than buying for her. If I continue to pay for her through my employer, can she stay on my insurance, or does it have to be done through COBRA?

    1. Your wife may stay on your health insurance at work, as long as she is your wife. But employer health insurance doesn’t cover unrelated parties, such as ex-spouses. If your firm is large, she can continue on the insurance under COBRA, but the premiums may be greater than getting a policy of her own.

      1. I am working in an ADA position that earns about a quarter of what my soon to be soon to be ex makes. I still have double PPO coverage for now. We were going to legally separate after almost 20 years so I could remain on his insurance. The separation has been dragging (his end) and now he wants divorce instead. Due to my medical hardship what can I ask for so I don’t end up destitute because of copay and deductibles while he lives comfortably.? I have surgeries and multiple specialists and therapies in my future.

          1. It appears it cannot be used as a secondary coverage. I have my own PPO for now but have a 5K out of pocket max per year plus deductibles. Any other ideas?

    2. Will, I believe the answer is ‘it depends’. Some employers remove a separated spouse from the health plan (which menas she would have to go on COBRA) and some do not. To know for sure, you have to call them and ask, which to me seems like you are tipping your hand that you are either separated or divorced. I have asked my attorney this very question last week and am waiting to hear back. UGH! Good luck

  202. If you ex spouse chooses to continue to carry insurance on you and your child and it is not court ordered but by his choice. Can the insurance company come back on you once he chooses to remove you from the policy by sending in divorce papers?

      1. All of this pertains to current actively working couples. While we were actively working MY insurance, through Verizon, was used because of the ‘birthday’ rules insurance companies have in place. Meanwhile he saved up for our retirement insurance. Now that we are retired he has decided to separate, not really divorce as of yet. Since this is prepaid insurance for retirees will I have to lose said insurance? Seems like his insurance company would make out the best on this all around since they never covered me while we were actively working, nor did they cover him during that time due to the ‘birthday’ rule. Are the rules different for retirement, prepaid insurance? Frankly I feel a law suit coming on since all of the funds paying ahead for the insurance was done while we were together and thus makes it an ASSET under the law. Am I wrong?

        1. Oh what a complicated question! There are two places to start: the prepaid insurance plan itself is the first place you should go, to see what it says about divorces and divorced spouses. And then, armed with that information, visit a family law attorney to see whether this is an asset and how you can be treated fairly in all of this.

      2. Can The x spouse get in trouble for using the Spouses insurance if the spouse has said it was ok and is find with the x using his insurance, but you have been divorced for over a year? Will the insurance company come after me if they know the divorce has been final for over a year?

        1. Yes. Since you are not eligible for coverage, the insurance company can come after you for all the expenses that they paid on your behalf, and can refuse to cover any more expenses. So essentially you have no insurance protection. You need to get your own policy.

          1. If I used his health insurance after the divorce but he said it was ok then got mad at me and went back to the insurance company and said he wasn’t aware, can the insurance company sue me or send me to jail? What can they do besides not pay claims and ask for their money back on the claims they did pay?

        2. Yes they will they are crooks. I had insurance through my husbands employer with Anthem and they took back over $10, 000 from the hosp where I had surgery and I have since been sued. Even though my divorce was not final until July 18, 2007 the insurance company went by the date of the hearing and terminated my coverage without even notifying me and stated my coverage ended on 04/30/2007 so they wouldn’t have to pay for my surgery. Anthem are crooks all these insurance companies are crooks. So they will get you one way or another.

          1. This is happening to me now, I was married to my ex for 20+ years, we decided to separate and filed for divorce in May 2016 since we didn’t have anything to dispute over we did the paperwork ourselves. Well, that prolonged the process because along the way we found out it’s a little more difficult to give up marital rights when you’ve been married that long. Needless to say we FINALLY got notice from the courthouse on November 2018 that our divorce was final. I had major back surgery in October 7, 2018 thinking I was still eligible under his insurance. Once we received the final decree my Ex submitted for me to be removed. End of story? I thought, I just received the first of many calls from doctors and hospitals needing payment for services rendered. The insurance company went by the judgment date that was posted back to the date the last set of papers were turned in on May 1, 2018 and disallowed ALL payments. Any help would be appreciated.

      3. Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP

        This answer supposes that he was paying premiums on a policy that legally covered the ex-spouse. If he was covering her as a spouse and lying and saying that they were still married when they weren’t, they could refuse to pay any medical expenses since it was fraud.

        1. Would someone get in trouble for never reporting they got divorced fourteen years ago the mans never reported it to his union would they get in trouble . His kids are on it too but they live out of state the union would never find out is this consider health insurance fraud would he get fined or jail time

          1. It sounds as though the issue is health insurance, and your husband is the union worker. After divorce he may keep his kids under the coverage (he didn’t divorce them), but not his former spouse, since she is no longer related to him. Once the insurance company finds out that he was divorced and she wasn’t eligible to be covered, they can retroactively refund the premiums paid since the date of divorce, minus all claims they paid out. If the claims exceed the premiums, they can pursue reimbursement from the former spouse.

      4. I only make 342.00 a month pension. There’s really no way I can afford insurance. Am I applicable to resume benefits from his insurance?

        I will be applying for social security on April 1, 2018. Will he have to pay insurance for me

    1. I was married for 48 years and we were very happy. When my husband was gone for 2 years I met a man as lonely as I was and we married. that Marriage sucks and that divorce will be worse.

  203. If people remain legally married but live apart, leading separate lives, can a person remain insured on the their spouse’s employee health benefits?

    1. You would need to ask the insurance company. Some insurances will end the coverage if legally divorced or separated.

      1. Keep in touch with HR, sometimes they’ll keep the policy in effect till his company’s annual enrollment period.

    2. my x husband was court ordered to have health care coverage on the kids and he has not done it what will happed to him or will i git the kids back

          1. My question is whether or not i will be in trouble. My ex husband has been on my insurance now for 14yrs. Since the divorce was finalized. Now my current husband wants/ needs me to add him to my coverage so i have to deal with this, sigh…

          2. The effect is that your former spouse has been without insurance all these years, since he wasn’t eligible to be covered under your insurance. So if his claims were high, the insurance company could ask him for a substantial reimbursement for what they paid out on his behalf. I don’t think that happens very often, but it is a possibility.

          3. Ginita, my name is Martin. I have had my ex wife on my medical dental benefits for about 12 years. After the divorce we stayed together most of that time. Tried to work things out. Decided to go our separate ways. I remarried but didn’t know I was committing insurance fraud. Till i tried to take my ex out and add my new wife. What should I do?

        1. My husband and I have been married for 3 months and I’m pregnant. Neither of us have taken any legal action but have decided to separate. Does he legally have to continue to keep me on his medical coverage? He gets it through his employer.

          1. While emotionally one might want to believe a spouse is required to provide medical coverage for the other spouse nothing in laws require that to happen, especially if you haven’t divorced. As it’s only been three months it’s incredibly unlikely the male will be required to provide coverage for be female. (Un)fortunately the states can’t make laws that say the fetus is only a fetus when the woman wants it to be but is a child when the woman wants it to be. In other words the male has no children at this time as he has no actual rights either. Not to mention if through some loop hole he did have to pay he wouldn’t be providing health insurance for the pregnant woman he’d providing insurance JUST for wellness visits dealing with the pregnancy. Most women only see the doctor a few times while pregnant.

            I’m sad to hear two people chose to conceive a child while together and have actively made a choice to have that child live in a broken home all while still pregnant. But I realize we have no facts of the situation. If you were provided coverage through his employer and you get a divorce you can pay for COBRA. Either way no judge is going to issue alimony or spouse support for a three month marriage. Sorry.

        2. If I get divorced would I be able to keep my step daughter on my insurance as my own choice or would that get me in trouble?