Staying Together for the Insurance

When parties are fully divorced, they are no longer permitted to be on their former's spouse's health insurance, absent applying for COBRA. This can create financial problems for parties who are unable to afford their own health insurance.

This held true for one woman, who was working as a freelancer at a company but did not have any benefits with her job. She suffered from an anxiety disorder, and could not financially afford to either be without insurance, or pay the premiums for an insurance policy. She wanted to stay on her husband's plan, despite their divorce.

When parties are divorced by a Final Judgment of Divorce, they cannot stay on their spouse's health insurance. A divorce is considered a "life event" that allows someone to modify their health insurance policy at times other than open enrollment.

One way to stay on your spouse's insurance while divorcing is to get a Judgment of Divorce From Bed and Board. However, if parties are divorced by a Judgment of Divorce from Bed and Board, then this is not an absolute divorce. Neither party is permitted to remarry if only a Judgment of Divorce from Bed and Board is entered, but it allows parties to stay on their spouse's health insurance.

Source: Slate.com, "Help! I ruined my marriage. Can I stall the divorce to stay on my husband's insurance?", http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2016/06/dear_prudence_can_i_delay_divorce_to_stay_on_my_husband_s_health_insurance.html, June 20, 2016.

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