Can I legally take my wife off my medical insurance?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2011

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Can I legally take my wife off my medical insurance?

Haven’t lived together in 8 years

Asked on February 10, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

There is no law requiring a person to provide health insurance for his family; even when the heath care reform act goes into full force, people will have the option of paying a fine rather than obtaining insurance. As such, you may indeed drop your wife from medical insurance, with the following caveats:

a) you can't drop just your wife, the way insurance policies are set up; if you have children and want them to be covered, the family plan will cover your wife, too.

b) you can only make the change at enrollment or renewal time, not mid-policy-year, since nothing has changed.

c) if you are going to do this, you should notify your wife in advance, so she has the opportunity to obtain new coverage. If you don't and she incurs substantial costs having relied on her health insurance, there could potentially be liability.

If you no longer live together and don't even want to cover her health insurance, you may wish to consider divorce.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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