Can You Remove Your Spouse From Your Health Insurance Before a Divorce?
As you and your partner prepare for divorce in Connecticut, you will likely begin the process of separating your lives. Untangling your relationship with your spouse can be a complicated endeavor, both emotionally and logistically. Beyond the biggest issues like moving to separate residences, couples also have to deal with more mundane tasks, like getting each other’s names off of bank accounts and shared utility accounts.
Another major issue that many divorcing couples have questions about is insurance; most notably, their health insurance. In the modern world, health insurance is not only one of the biggest expenses/benefits that couples have, but understanding your health coverage has become ever more challenging. When can you actually take your spouse’s name off of your health insurance? The answer is more complicated than many people realize.
Get Professional Help: Do Not Try to Remove Your Spouse From Your Health Insurance
With limited exceptions, you cannot remove your spouse from your health insurance immediately preceding a divorce. In fact, attempting to do so could get you into some serious financial trouble. There are several different factors that must be considered when dealing with your impending divorce and your spouse’s health coverage.
First, under current health insurance regulations, you are generally prevented from removing a beneficiary from a policy in the middle of a plan year without a justifiable ‘life event’. If no divorce has been filed, then there has been no substantial life event to support such a change. The plan administrator may actually prevent you from making a change at the current time. In addition, once a divorce complaint is filed in Connecticut, both spouses are generally restricted from cancelling their partner’s insurance coverage until the case has been finalized.
The bottom line: Do not remove your spouse from your health insurance on your own. If you want to get them off your insurance, you need to consult with an experienced West Hartford divorce lawyer. Your lawyer will make sure that you do it the right way, so that you do not get stuck with your partner’s medical bills.
What You Need to Know About Connecticut Divorce and COBRA
Once your divorce is finalized, you will be able to detach your former spouse from your name. Though, they may still be able to get coverage through the same plan. An important federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows people who lose health insurance because of divorce to buy in to the same plan for up to three years. If you have a group health insurance plan (employer-based plan), your spouse may be protected by COBRA and may be able to buy in on their own following your divorce.
Contact Our Connecticut Family Law Attorneys Today
At Stanger Law, our dedicated family law lawyers want to help protect your legal rights. We can help you resolve complex insurance-related issues. For a fully confidential initial case evaluation, please contact our legal team at (860) 352-5432. From our office in West Hartford, we serve family law clients throughout the region.