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  1. #1

    Default When Can You Remove Your Ex-Spouse from Health Insurance After Divorcing

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: California

    My now former spouse and I dissolved our marriage. We received notice from the court about a month or so ago, but the docket on the court's website says there is still a status conference later this month. I'm not sure what that means or if it has any bearing on my question.


    I'm assuming with the receipt of the court document copy, that the marriage is dissolved. How long do I have to take her off my health insurance? Or rather, how long can I keep her on there and is the burden on me to notify my employer? Ideally, I'd like her to stay insured as long as possible but I also do not want to break any laws.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    6,271

    Default Re: End of Marriage Insurance

    Quote Quoting Frank Reynolds
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    I'm assuming with the receipt of the court document copy, that the marriage is dissolved. How long do I have to take her off my health insurance? Or rather, how long can I keep her on there and is the burden on me to notify my employer? Ideally, I'd like her to stay insured as long as possible but I also do not want to break any laws.
    Once the divorce is final you need to inform the person who handles insurance benefits at your employer. The divorce is a life change event that triggers a change in benefits prior to the next open season for benefit changes. If you try to keep the divorce a secret to get your ex-spouse post-divorce benefits that could prove very costly should the benefits get denied later based on the fact that your spouse was no longer eligible to be on your policy. She could end up having to pay a huge medical cost once she loses not only benefit but the negotiated cost savings that insurance plans typically provides. She could also find she is unable to get benefits prior to the next open season if she waits too long to take advantage of the window to sign up for benefits that the life change event provides. So waiting to make the changes here to try to keep her covered under your insurance could be a disaster waiting to happen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,023

    Default Re: End of Marriage Insurance

    On the other hand, it is not a given that you're going to be forced to take her off, either. My employer will not allow an ex-spouse to be enrolled, but if a spouse is already covered on the policy at the time of the divorce, we will allow them to continue coverage. The portion of the premium that covers her will be deducted on a post tax basis rather than a pre-tax, and you will have to pay imputed income on the value of the insurance, but we would not force you to remove her. This is permitted by my state's law. My husband was covered on his ex-wife's coverage for over a decade before he and I married and he came onto mine. If I am not mistaken, CA law allows this as well. Whether your specific employer does is something only your employer can tell you.

    The likelihood is that, if she is no longer considered eligible for coverage and you do have to take her off, you will have 30 days from the date the divorce is final to make the change. Once again, only your employer can say for sure, and yes, it is your responsibility to notify your employer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    15,329

    Default Re: End of Marriage Insurance

    Wouldn't she be eligible for COBRA coverage if no longer eligible as a dependent?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    13,867

    Default Re: End of Marriage Insurance

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Wouldn't she be eligible for COBRA coverage if no longer eligible as a dependent?
    Yes, but its expensive...very.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,262

    Default Re: End of Marriage Insurance

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Yes, but its expensive...very.
    While that used to be uniformly true it isn't now in all cases. It often isn't if the former employer plan is a grandfathered plan and the plan the employee looks at in the marketplace is one of the better plans.

  7. #7

    Default Re: End of Marriage Insurance

    Thanks for the tips. I'll talk to HR and see what needs to be done.

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