Health care during separation


#1

My husband has left the household 6 months ago and we are going through the separation process. He has both my 16 year old son and me on his health care policy via his job for now (a private University). I would not have health insurance otherwise because I am self-employed. He has sent a veiled threat of getting me off his insurance. Going on the market would cost me an inane amount of money because of my income. I earn more than he does.
I heard somewhere that he cannot cut me off his health insurance if I offer to pay my share, at least until we divorce and in any event he should keep me on for at least 3 years after separation if I don’t have it via my employer. Is it true?
Also, if it’s true that he should keep me on his insurance until divorced, I am forced to divorce him? Cannot I stay separated and keep the insurance? Of course paying for it for my part (which could be taken off what he would owe me for child support since he did not give me one penny since he left).


#2

Unless it’s open enrollment, there will not have been a recognized life change allowing your husband to remove you from his insurance. He could remove you from his insurance during an open enrollment period without a separation agreement or court order requiring that he keep you on.

Once you are divorced, he will have to remove you from his health insurance. You cannot carry insurance for someone you are not married to. It’s possible to agree to stay married for longer than the one year separation period in order for you to maintain the health insurance, but that would need to be agreed on in a separation agreement. Otherwise, he could file for an absolute divorce at any time after one year of separation has passed and you will likely have no legal basis to contest it.

Keeping you on the policy for 3 years after separation is untrue.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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