Health Insurance and Staying on Spouse's Policy


#1

I far as I know, at time of divorce a wife (self-employed) must come off of husband’s health care plan (sponsored by husbands employer) but could go on COBRA for the length of time specified by the company (in this case, 36 months) if she has no other insurance (because she is self-employed). Someone recently told me that if it was spelled out in the divorce decree, that the wife could stay on the spouse’s health care plan AT THE SAME RATE AS WHEN THEY WERE MARRIED (ie. not at the higher COBRA amount). I am fairly sure this is not allowed, so I want to ask this question here: Can a divorce decree state that the wife MUST stay on the plan at the same rate as when she was a wife on the plan? And would an insurance company have to abide by that? thanks!


#2

Each provider has its own rules regarding who is eligible to receive coverage as a dependent based on that specific type of health plan. A health insurance plan is a contract and the terms of that plan have to be reviewed in every case to ultimately determine what will serve as a bar to continued coverage. However, the divorce decree can’t bend the rules and force an insurer to to allow someone to stay on the plan contrary to the providers guidelines. The divorce decree also can’t force an insurer to provide coverage at a specific rate.