Can I remove my wife from my health insurance?

My wife and I have been separated for 2 years and I can’t afford to have her on my health insurance. We currently live in different states and I have no idea if she has a job, yet or not. She was added to my health insurance because she had lost her job. So, can I remove her without any legal repercussions?

Asked on March 8, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you remove her from your insurance and you are still married, you may run into some issues from her. She may be entitled to maintain this insurance at your cost until a final resolution is made upon divorce. Every state is different as to the requirements to maintain insurance for separated and ex-spouses but it is even more complicated herein because you indicate you live in different states. Depending on the state in which she may file a motion to require you to maintain insurance, the court may use the law of the state in which you live or the state in which she lives. It is a complicated decision under the general subject of conflict of laws and choice of law.  If you can no longer afford to keep her on your insurance, first do some research on your own about your state requirements about dropping an insured, COBRA notice requirements to her and then consult with a lawyer in your state.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Well, first if you have an agreement that states that she is to be kept on your insurance until you are divorced then you have to ask the court to modify the agreement to take her off.  If there is not agreement then you can probably remove her but I would give her ample notice AND I would check with your heath insurance administrator on WHEN yo can remove her.  Generally you can only remove or add people to your insurance during certain times of the year.  You can not just drop them.  And if you have a lawyer have him or her write the letter to her attorney letting hm or her know of your intent.  Good luck.

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