Can I Stay on My Spouse’s Medical Insurance Plan in Massachusetts if We Get Divorced?
Massachusetts is a unique state when it comes to medical insurance. We have a statute that was enacted for the benefit of the citizens of Massachusetts. What it provides is that a divorce spouse has the right to stay on their former spouse’s medical insurance policy post-divorce for as long as it is available to the employee spouse and that would be at no additional cost. Previous to the enactment of the statute, the insurers would be happy when people got divorced because that meant one less person that they had to cover for the same amount of money. Now, the health insurers can’t benefit from a divorce, they have to continue to cover the former spouse. Problems arise when the employee remarries and they want to include their current spouse on the policy. So obviously, the insurers don’t want you to have a former spouse and a current spouse on the policy. The employee has the right to take the other spouse off unless it provides otherwise in the agreement. The former spouse then has to get their own insurance. Technically, under the statute, there can be both spouses remaining on the policy by means of an additional rider and then the former spouse would be responsible for paying the increase in the cost, because the insurer would charge more money to keep two spouses on. As a practical matter though, most people get off the employee spouse’s policy at that point because the cost is so prohibitive. They would rather just get their own policy.
This informational blog post was brought to you by Cynthia L. Hanley, an experienced Mansfield, Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer.