Can I Stay on My Ex-Spouse’s Insurance After a Divorce or Legal Separation?

This is a very common question that we often hear in a divorce action.  The simple answer to this question is no.  This has nothing to do with the divorce or legal separation but, rather, the rules and procedures of the insurance provider.  Even if your ex-spouse wanted to keep you on his or her insurance after a divorce, the insurance company will not allow that.

In some cases, the insurance company will allow a legally separated spouse to stay on an insurance plan.  In fact, this is one of the most common reason that spouses would typically legally separate, as opposed to divorce.  However, each plan is different and you have to check with the insurance company.

Pursuant to federal law (COBRA), ex-spouses must be given the choice to stay on the plan for up to 36 months.  COBRA law only applies to employers with more than 20 employees.  If an employer has less than 20 employees, they still sometimes offer continuation coverage at their discretion or some states require same.  If a spouse chooses continuation coverage, it would be at their own cost.  COBRA coverage is often very expensive and you should find out the cost prior to finalizing your action.

Sometimes, your ex-spouse can be ordered to pay the cost of your future health insurance as a form of alimony or maintenance.   However, this would be up to the parties to agree to and/or the court to order.

Health insurance is a very important consideration in a divorce or legal separation.  Make sure you check into all of your options prior to finalizing your action.

To find out all of the consequences of an action for divorce or legal separation in Wisconsin, please contact us at 414-258-1644 or visit our website for more information.