Can a spouse be dropped from health insurance if they are still married?

UPDATED: Jul 13, 2010

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UPDATED: Jul 13, 2010Fact Checked

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Asked July 13, 2010

1 Answer

Yes, within certain guidelines. If the premiums are 100% paid by your employer, you may not be able to drop your spouse because you have no interest in the insurance process. Such coverage is not compulsory, but it does make practical sense to use an insurance policy that has little or no costs involved for the participants. For legitimate reasons, dropping your spouse is possible, but if you are only trying to make a point or "get even," you should understand that you probably can't get the coverage terminated immediately under most circumstances.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are federal laws in place to prevent people from being suddenly and unexpectedly left without coverage due to a change in employment or relationship. If you and your wife belong to a group insurance plan, and most people do, the spouse will still be eligible for the same insurance coverage under the COBRA act for a period of up to 36 months. Additionally, many insurance companies will simply allow the spouse to convert to their own policy rather than losing coverage completely.

On the other hand, if the separation is permanent and you are working towards the divorce, it is important that you let your insurance company know, and make arrangements for when this termination will be effective. In response, the insurance company will provide you with the necessary forms and contact your spouse for verification and possibly to offer alternative coverage plans. Except in certain divorce rulings, you cannot be forced to provide insurance coverage for a spouse with whom you have no other obligatory contact.

Answered July 13, 2010 by Anonymous

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