Health Insurance Center

Health Insurance Q & As

Question 1 of 3 in Health Care Reform Of 2010 For Divorced Status
Does this healthcare reform package of 2010 let me stop paying health insurance for my ex-wife? She is still on my plan because she is not insurable.
Who pays for coverage is not addressed (divorce attorney needed!). However, if she is still on your plan and your divorce has been finalized, you are violating the terms of your plan because she is no longer an "eligible" dependent. Get her on COBRA as soon as you can. The penalty for not doing this is pretty severe: you (or your employer, if she is still on a group plan) will be considered the "responsible party" for paying for any medical bills, not the insurance company. That warning aside, the answer is that you have some good news: effective immediately the Federal government is setting up "guaranteed issue" plans so uninsurable people can have coverage. These plans will be able to cover your ex-spouse on a temporary basis until 2014, when no individual plan can reject anyone for medical reasons or attach pre-existing conditions to the policy. Short answer: yes, she can go off COBRA and onto the temporary guaranteed issue plan as soon as they are established in your State.