What are the penalties for taking your ex-wife off of your insurance plan?

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What are the penalties for taking your ex-wife off of your insurance plan?

A friend was removed from her ex-husband’s insurance a month before she was informed of the removal. Since it has been 4 months and any grace period is over and she is having difficulty find insurance. Does she have to pay for the months she was not on, even if she wasn’t notified until the grace period was over?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The penalty all depends on whether your state requires ex spouses to continue on the insurance, if the order requires her to stay on the insurance permanently or for a period of time and whether your state requires the insured to be notified (including dependents or co-insureds) prior to cancellation. So, your friend must first look at her divorce and support decree(s). Then she needs to check out the state's statutes on insurance in divorce proceedings. Section 34 of the Massachusetts divorce statutes discusses health insurance or cost thereof to be provided by the spouse who has it to the other. There are many factors that go into it, but generally speaking if support was ordered, he cannot simply take her off it and must now rectify the situation. On to resolution. Resolution will require your friend going back to court to show when this occurred (cancellation) and what expense it will be to have her own insurance and force him to pay for it. Secondary to this is the complaint should file with the Massachusetts Department of Insurance for the bad faith the insurance committed by simply cancelling her policy without notice and without informing her of other options available to her.


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