Can I Drop My Spouse From My Health Insurance Policy When We Separate?

dro-healthIf you are separating or planning to divorce from your spouse in New York, you probably have many questions about what will change regarding insurance policies.  When you are separated from someone and in the process of filing for divorce, you may not have an automatic responsibility to cover a spouse with health insurance.  However, if you elect to move forward by dropping your spouse from an existing health insurance policy, a judge may use a court order to demand that you add your spouse back onto the insurance policy.

In New York, there are certain automatic orders that require behaviors after divorce summons has been served.  One of these involves a requirement that neither person is allowed to drop the other from an existing health insurance policy.  In the short term, it’s best to keep the insurance coverage active unless the court tells you otherwise or unless your case is dismissed or withdrawn.  If a court order stipulates that you must continue to carry insurance on the spouse and any children, and you violate this order, you can be held in contempt of court.  If you are truly unable to afford the insurance, you will need to explain this in court and ask for order modification.

During the period between the separation and divorce, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney in New York to discuss all the possible ways that a divorce can impact your life.  In addition to health insurance, you may also have questions about property division, child custody, life insurance policies, pensions, child support and spousal support, or other details related to your marriage dissolution.  It’s in your best interest to get legal counsel sooner rather than later regarding divorce procedures in New York.