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Posted by: Georgi 

There are very many health insurance questions that may arise during a divorce proceeding, such as:-
1. Are both divorcing parties covered even after the divorce, and if yes, for how long?
2. Are the kids covered during and after a divorce proceeding?
3. Can one party be allowed to cancel health insurance coverage for the other party during a divorce?

It is common and very widespread fallacy that someone will continue getting health coverage under their ex-spouse even after a divorce is finalised. The truth of the matter however is that as of the date the rule of law is made that two people are officially divorced, the ex-spouse will no longer be eligible to access health care services under their spouses coverage.

This therefore means that whatever medical cost you will incur, even though the medical practitioner will treat you for ‘free’ at the moment of consultation, will be back-charged on your at full rate since the coverage ends on the date of the divorce. Needless to mention therefore, if you need to undergo a serious medical check-up or treatment, do so before you finally sign the divorce papers as there will be no coverage after that.

Mr. Andrew Rempfer, a renowned employment lawyer, notes that providing ongoing health insurance coverage for an ex-spouse is very important to put into serious consideration when formulating the divorce decree since in the case of an employer sponsored health plan, it could be providing COBRA coverage only, something that generally costs around 102% of the total cost of premiums, and will generally expire after 3 years.

At times, the party who has the insurance coverage will maliciously delete the soon-to-be ex-partner from the insurance plan months before the decree of divorce. Note however that if the spouse does that in a company setting that has over 20 full time employees, the company could be violating federal and state laws for mandating an employee to maliciously delete a spouse from a health care plan before the decree of divorce.

Still on point, if a spouse goes ahead to cancel health insurance coverage in the process of a divorce proceeding, and the other spouse who relies on the medical coverage goes ahead to incur medical costs, the law could argue that the medical cost incurred in the process of the divorce, and before a signed divorce decree as a result of a malicious spouse cancelling the medical coverage, the debt could be paid by the cancelling spouse. Whatever medical costs are incurred before divorce is finalised, even if the other spouse is in charge of the coverage, would be their sole debt.

As for the kids, the courts decree ought to make clear and set clear regulations as to which spouse will carry the responsibility of providing health care coverage for the kids. State law states clearly that parents ought to provide health care insurance coverage to their kids before, during, and after divorce. In a perfect case scenario, children ought to remain in the employer-sponsored health care plan.

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