Pending the divorce litigation neither party is supposed to change any insurance coverage. A spouse can continue to be covered on the other's employer provided health insurance coverage until the entry of the Judgment of Divorce. Thereafter, they are no longer considered a spouse and not eligible to be covered by the insured spouse on the family plan. The non-insured spouse may then elect to be covered under COBRA coverage based upon the rules and regulations of the employer, insurance company and statutes. There is usually a substantial cost for COBRA coverage and it is only available for a limited period of time. The non-insured spouse should contact the participant's employer to determine the extent and availability of coverage before the Judgment of divorce is granted to ensure the continuation of coverage. There is specific time limits for electing to obtain COBRA coverage so the non-participant must act diligently to insure they do not miss the opportunity to elect coverage.
Joseph P. Cadicina Esq. is a matrimonial/family-law attorney and a partner with Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Boyd, LLC in Morristown, New Jersey. He can be reached at (973) 285-1444. View her firm's Divorce Magazine profile.