Georgia Health Insurance Laws Concerning Divorce

By Heather Frances J.D.

Many spouses have health insurance coverage through their spouse’s group plan, but that eligibility changes when they divorce. If one spouse is receiving health insurance benefits through the other spouse’s plan, the receiving spouse must elect coverage under COBRA if she wants to remain on that plan once the divorce is finalized.

Many spouses have health insurance coverage through their spouse’s group plan, but that eligibility changes when they divorce. If one spouse is receiving health insurance benefits through the other spouse’s plan, the receiving spouse must elect coverage under COBRA if she wants to remain on that plan once the divorce is finalized.

COBRA

COBRA coverage, which comes from the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, allows a spouse who had coverage at the time of her divorce to maintain that coverage once the divorce is final; however, she is required to pay the full amount of her plan premiums. This may be an expensive option and COBRA eligibility only lasts for 36 months, so it isn’t a permanent solution. Spouses who choose COBRA coverage must elect this coverage within 60 days after the divorce is finalized.

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Coverage While Divorce Is Pending

There is no Georgia statute that specifically prohibits a spouse from dropping the other spouse from his health insurance policy while a divorce is pending; therefore, he may legally terminate the other spouse’s coverage before the divorce is final. However, Georgia courts can enter an order preventing such termination. If a spouse is vulnerable to losing her health insurance, she may petition the court for an order addressing this issue.

Payment

A marital settlement agreement or divorce decree can provide that one spouse maintain an individual insurance plan for the other spouse upon divorce or contribute a certain amount of money toward the ex-spouse’s individual plan or COBRA payments. However, a divorce decree or settlement agreement cannot make a spouse eligible for coverage under a certain plan. The agreement may spell out the terms of payment by indicating the exact amount the ex-spouse must pay and for how long. Georgia courts can also consider the cost of medical insurance when determining alimony awards.

Children

In most cases, children maintain their eligibility for coverage after their parents' divorce, even if they receive coverage from the noncustodial parent. The divorce decree, marital settlement agreement or child support order typically states which parent is responsible for providing the children’s health insurance coverage and paying for any medical expenses not covered by the health plan.

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Ohio Health Insurance to a Spouse Post-Divorce

References

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Divorce Laws Regarding Insurance in Wisconsin

For some couples, insurance coverage is a significant factor in their divorce, because terminating a marriage often means terminating insurance coverage. Most the estimated 65,000 American women who lose health insurance each year due to divorce previously had been covered under their husbands’ health insurance plans, according to a University of Michigan study. Wisconsin courts, however, have limited power to help uninsured spouses maintain coverage after divorce.

Health Insurance Laws During Divorce in Texas

Families often obtain health insurance through one spouse’s employer-sponsored group plan; however, you likely will lose your eligibility for your spouse’s plan when your divorce becomes final. Texas judges typically issue temporary orders that keep the uninsured spouse on the insured spouse’s plan while the divorce is pending. After the divorce becomes final, Texas law does not force insurance companies to continue coverage for the uninsured ex-spouse, although federal law does provide an option.

Who Gets the Responsibility of Medical Insurance After a Divorce in New Hampshire?

If you receive health insurance through your spouse’s plan, provided by his employer, you may lose your eligibility for that insurance plan when you divorce. Though state laws vary on this issue, New Hampshire law enables a spouse who is covered under her spouse’s plan to continue coverage under certain circumstances. Additionally, federal law provides some continuation rights, and courts can order one spouse to pay for the other spouse’s insurance coverage.

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