20 Oct Always Maintain Your Health Insurance during a Pending Divorce
Keep your spouse on your health insurance during a pending New Jersey divorce.
It’s very common for married couples and their dependent children to all be covered under one spouse’s health insurance policy, particularly if the insurance coverage is provided by an employer. Whether out of spite or ignorance, an insured spouse sometimes tries to remove the other spouse and/or the children from the insurance policy while the divorce is pending. It’s important to understand that you should never do this under any circumstances.
In the state of New Jersey, it’s actually illegal to remove a spouse or dependent children from your insurance coverage while a divorce is pending. In addition to the legal consequences of these actions, there are also potentially devastating financial consequences for everyone involved.
While the insurance company is legally required to issue a Notice of Termination when a beneficiary is removed from the policy, it’s likely that the spouse and/or children who have been removed won’t be aware of the change to the policy of this Notice of Termination is mailed to the policy holder’s residence. This often creates a scenario where the spouse who has been removed from the policy doesn’t learn about the termination until they seek medical treatment and coverage is denied.
If expensive medical services were rendered during this lapse of coverage, it can significantly impact the pending divorce proceeding in the following ways:
- Marital assets may be wiped out
- Nest eggs and retirement funds may be wiped out
- Funds set aside for children’s college education may be significantly depleted
- The marital home may need to be sold
If you are the one who caused these financial catastrophes due to your decision to remove your spouse or children as beneficiaries, the court will most likely hold you responsible for covering the cost of these expenses. Depending on the extent of medical bills that need to be covered, this could be financially devastating to you. If it completely wipes out your finances, then the consequences may also impact your spouse, who would still be responsible for the remainder of the medical expenses.
There’s no reason to take an action that could potentially be financially crippling for your entire family and complicate your divorce unnecessarily. It’s best to maintain all health insurance coverage for everyone listed as a dependent until your divorce is finalized.
If you need assistance with a divorce matter, please contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Bloom using the form at the top of the page or call (855) 208-3650 today to schedule a consultation. Mr. Bloom serves clients in West New York, and throughout Hudson County and Bergen County, New Jersey.