Can You Take Spouse Off Health Insurance?

If your spouse is covered by your employer’s health insurance and you are obtaining a divorce, he or she will no longer be covered once the divorce is finalized. In most cases, only qualified dependents are covered under employer health insurance policies. Your children will continue to be covered, but your ex-spouse will most likely fall short of the requirements. However, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) mandates that businesses continue to provide health insurance to an employee’s ex-spouse for up to 36 months following a divorce.

If COBRA pertains to your circumstances, a judge will consider it while determining spousal support, so it might be in your best interest to explore providing health care during and after the divorce.

Health Insurance and the Divorce Process

Standard family law restraining orders (also known as “ATROs” or “Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders”) take effect when you file or receive service of the Summons for Dissolution of Marriage (form FL-110), which prevent you from changing or canceling any of the beneficiaries for any insurance coverage, including life, health, automobile, disability, or that which is held for the benefit of either party or your minor children. As a result, while your divorce is underway, you cannot drop your spouse from your health insurance. You’ll almost certainly face legal issues if you drop your spouse from your health insurance plan without a court order. You don’t want to risk damaging your case by making an impetuous decision, as much as you want to separate from your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you unilaterally changed your spouse’s insurance without a court order, your earnings, your share of the community property, and your separate property could be held accountable for 100 percent of the uninsured medical expenditures paid by your spouse.

You must first petition the court for authorization if you believe your spouse should be removed off your health insurance throughout the divorce process. Your request may be granted depending on the circumstances. If your spouse purchased his or her own insurance, you should seek a written and signed Stipulation that can be presented to the Court for approval as a Court Order so that you can be protected in the case of a catastrophic sickness or accident. Just make sure you don’t drop your spouse from your health insurance while you’re in the middle of a divorce unless you get a court order that says you can.

In rare circumstances, one party may request that the other remain on the insured spouse’s plan, or the insured spouse may choose to keep their ex-spouse on his or her employer’s plan. While staying on an ex-low-cost spouse’s or no-cost plan is appealing, it is often difficult to do so, especially because health insurance providers do not allow divorced spouses to remain on a policy. If the insurance company was not notified of the divorce, they may revoke the insured spouse’s coverage or accuse them of insurance fraud. A legal separation may be a better option than a divorce in cases where one spouse absolutely needs to keep their health insurance. A divorce qualifies as a “life event,” allowing you to purchase insurance outside of an open enrollment period as long as you do it soon after your Entry of Judgment. Consult an expert attorney as soon as possible if you suspect health insurance will become a big problem in your divorce.

Can you drop a spouse from health insurance?

Unless you have a qualifying event, you can’t drop a spouse or ex-spouse from your health insurance plan until the next open enrollment period. This is true of both employer-sponsored and Affordable Care Act marketplace health insurance policies.

You can request a list of qualifying events from your company’s health insurance administrator, which would allow him to make modifications outside of the yearly open enrollment period. Employees can make changes outside of open enrollment, such as dropping a spouse from health insurance coverage, if the following situations occur:

  • The status of the dependent has changed (e.g. child ages off policy at 26).
  • You have an increase or decrease in hours that affects your health-plan eligibility.

If any of the scenarios listed above apply to you, you may be eligible to drop your spouse from a health insurance plan (if the removal is consistent with the event). Within 30 days after the qualifying occurrence, you must be dropped from the health plan. You’ll have to wait until the next open enrollment period if you don’t make the change within those 30 days.

Employers hold their own open enrollment periods, which usually take place in the fall or winter. In most states, the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act marketplace is between November 1 and December 15.

If your spouse drops your health insurance coverage, you have several options for coverage. COBRA allows you to keep your current insurance coverage (which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). COBRA coverage allows consumers to stay on their previous plan for a set period of time. You will continue to have access to the same health insurance plan and provider network, but you will no longer get assistance from your employer. Instead, you’ll be responsible for all insurance expenses, which might be quite high.

A health insurance marketplace plan under the Affordable Care Act is another alternative. Subsidies are available for Marketplace insurance plans based on your income, which help you pay for coverage. In the ACA marketplace, most communities offer a variety of insurance firms and options.

Short-term health insurance is a third option accessible in most jurisdictions. Short-term health plans provide limited coverage at a cheap cost. You can keep a short-term plan for a year in most states and request two renewals. Some states, however, prohibit the schemes, while others impose stricter time constraints. Short-term health insurance policies should not be considered a long-term health insurance alternative.

How can I remove my husband from my insurance?

Request that a dependent be removed from your health insurance plan by calling the number listed on your policy. If you pay your premiums on a monthly basis, you can cancel your spouse’s coverage the next month. You may have to wait to drop your spouse if you paid for a longer term.

Can I remove my wife as beneficiary?

If you have a life insurance policy that covers you and specifies your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, you can change the beneficiary to someone else. However, if you owe alimony or child support, a judge may require you to name your ex as a beneficiary in order to ensure that financial support continues after you pass away.

How do I remove someone from my health insurance?

A: At any moment, you can drop family members from your plan. This usually occurs when they receive coverage from another source. To remove dependents from your plan, call the number on the back of your ID card.

Can I cancel my insurance if my spouse gets a new job?

It’s usually simple for a married couple with health insurance via their jobs to move coverage from one employer to the other. The husband, for example, can easily withdraw his on-the-job coverage for the next year during the fall open enrollment period, and his wife can add him to her plan on January 1.

This is how it usually works because many companies offer calendar year coverage periods.

Switching to a spouse’s plan, on the other hand, can be difficult if their coverage periods aren’t in sync—for example, one renews in July and the other in January.

A reader just emailed me with a similar issue. Her company’s open enrollment period is currently underway, and the pair would like to move from her husband’s high-deductible plan to her employer’s better-coverage plan. Her husband’s work, on the other hand, is refusing to let him switch until next July, when his company’s new coverage year begins.

This is not the same as when a person marries or has a kid, or when a spouse loses coverage under another employer’s plan. Companies are generally required to offer employees or their family members the chance to enroll during a “special enrollment period” triggered by these events.

Get a copy of your employer’s “summary plan description” to see if your company permits you to move to your spouse’s plan, advises Piro.

“Many companies are unaware of the rules’ intricacy, or they only allow revisions in specific circumstances,” he explains. You’ll know what your organization allows with the plan description, and you may utilize it to alert your human resources department if necessary, according to Piro.

Can I remove my spouse from my health insurance if we are separated Ontario?

Is it possible to drop my spouse from my health insurance in Canada if we are divorced? Yes, to put it succinctly. When you legally separate from your spouse, several Canadian health insurance plans will end coverage for your ex-spouse.

Can separated spouse stay on health insurance Ontario?

When married couples decide to divorce, they must make a number of difficult decisions, especially if they have children together. One of the most common concerns couples have with our divorce lawyers at Feldstein Family Law P.C. is whether their estranged spouse can remain on their health insurance after the divorce if their spouse benefits from it. If both couples agree to separate peacefully, they may be able to stay on the same health insurance policy if they do not finalize a divorce and instead choose to legally separate.

This was the situation with a Hollywood couple who opted for legal separation rather than divorce. Michael Fishman, who is best known for his role as ‘D.J.’ on Rosanne, and his estranged wife, Jennifer Briner, have divorced amicably. Michael and Jennifer have two children, a 19-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter, who they married in October 1999. Jennifer identified their divorce date as June 16, 2017, according to court filings. After nearly 20 years of marriage, Jennifer filed for legal separation from “The Conners” star Michael, who revealed why the couple chose separation over divorce in a statement to TMZ.

“One of the reasons for not obtaining a traditional divorce is that we both want Jenny to be covered by my health insurance and to be able to slowly unfold our 20 years together in a way that is mutually advantageous for our family, particularly on behalf of our children,” he stated.

In Ontario, most couples split up before getting divorced. Couples might enter into a separation agreement before or after their divorce to commit to maintain their partners and children on their employer’s perks or health insurance coverage. A non-spouse may not be covered under several employment benefit plans. As a result, unlike a separation, having a divorce finalized can limit a spouse’s health and dental coverage.

Can my ex wife get my life insurance?

Yes, if there is an insurable interest, such as maintenance (alimony) and/or child support, and your ex agrees to sign the application and go through underwriting, you can take out a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse.

Is my wife automatically your beneficiary?

When most people hear the words “estate planning,” they immediately think of wills and trusts. However, setting beneficiary designations and maintaining them up to date after life changes is an important – and frequently forgotten – element of estate planning. As more people put money into retirement accounts like 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), it’s more critical than ever to make sure that the assets in those accounts are dispersed to the correct people.

401(k)s and IRAs account for almost 60% of the assets of U.S. households investing at least $100,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. State and federal rules have an impact on who gets these assets, and the outcomes can be convoluted, especially if the account owner is divorced and remarried. As a result, an expert estate planning attorney’s advice is vital in assisting people in making the proper beneficiary designations.

Most pensions and retirement accounts are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal legislation. If the owner of a retirement account is married when he or she dies, regardless of the beneficiary arrangement, his or her spouse is automatically entitled to receive half of the money.

If the intended beneficiary is someone other than the spouse, the spouse will receive half of the assets and the designated beneficiary will receive the other half. Unless he or she has completed a Spousal Waiver and another person or entity (such as an estate or trust) is specified as a beneficiary, a spouse always receives half of the assets of an ERISA-governed account.

By correctly completing a Spousal Waiver, a spouse can forego his or her claim to 50% of the account. However, depending on the type of retirement plan, a Spousal Waiver is generally not permitted under ERISA unless the spouse is at least 35 years old.

When the owner of a retirement account remarries, these rules can cause issues. Frequently, after a divorce, the owner will change his or her beneficiary designation and name the children as the intended beneficiaries. Even if the new spouse is not named as a beneficiary, if the owner later remarries, 50 percent of the retirement assets will go to the new spouse instead of the children.

If a 401(k) owner is single when he or she dies, the assets go to the specified beneficiary, regardless of what the owner’s will says. Furthermore, independent of any other agreements – including court decisions – the assets will be given to the selected recipient.

Assume a man’s 401(k) plan’s chosen beneficiary is his wife (k). The couple divorces, and the man keeps his beneficiary designation the same, but the woman waives her claim to any retirement assets as part of the divorce settlement. Even if the divorce orders state that his former wife should not receive the retirement assets if he dies without changing his beneficiary designation or remarrying, his former wife will still obtain the retirement assets if he dies without changing his beneficiary designation or remarrying.

IRAs, unlike 401(k)s, are governed by state law, which does not automatically make spouses beneficiaries. By converting a 401(k) to an IRA, an owner can identify anyone as the chosen beneficiary, with or without the approval of their spouse. Spouses do not have ERISA rights with IRAs, according to federal courts.

These instances highlight the need of carefully drafting and amending beneficiary designations to ensure that they reflect the owner’s desires for distribution after death. If you’re married and don’t want your spouse to receive at least half of your retirement assets, consider signing a Spousal Waiver and making sure you’ve chosen alternative beneficiaries for your retirement funds. If your ex-spouse relinquished any claim to retirement funds during the divorce, make sure your beneficiary designation form reflects this. Finally, converting a 401(k) to an IRA gives chosen beneficiaries greater options.