Medical Insurance Plans Upon Divorce
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 which is unusual. What it provides is that a divorce spouse has the right to stay on their former spouse’s medical insurance policy. After the divorce or post-divorce for as long as it is available to the employer’s spouse and that would be at no additional cost. So 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. The times when that then becomes problematic is when the employee’s spouse becomes married 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 so at that point, the employee’s spouse has the right to take the other spouse off. You know, usually there is a notice requirement and so forth. The former spouse 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 that rather just get their own policy.
This informational blog post was provided by Cynthia Hanley, an experienced Massachusetts Divorce Attorney.