While there’s no actual law regarding health insurance and divorce, in Chicago, Illinois as long as you’re married, you have the right to stay on the policy of your insured spouse. Conversely, as long as you’re married, you must maintain health insurance for your spouse if you had been covering your spouse on your insurance prior to the filing.
If your spouse removes you from their insurance policy, you can go into court the next day with an emergency motion asking that your health insurance be reinstated. If you incur any expenses related to the loss of the health insurance, your spouse will be responsible for those expenses.
After the filing of the divorce, the party providing the health insurance may file a motion for contribution to marital expenses asking that the other party contribute to the expense of the health insurance. These motions, usually include a variety of marital expenses such as the mortgage and other joint liabilities including healthcare premiums.
Typically, the party providing health insurance is also paying maintenance (formerly known as alimony). The courts usually say, “You’re paying maintenance for your ex. You’re also paying for their health premiums until you’re divorced.” So, don’t expect contribution to the health care expenses unless your incomes are approximately equal.
After you’re divorced, there is no obligation to provide for your ex’s health insurance. There are no health insurance programs that will ever allow you to continue to insure a former spouse voluntarily. However, all health insurance plans have a COBRA coverage available. COBRA coverage allows you buy into the health insurance you used to be under for up to 18 months. This is usually prohibitively expensive (hundreds of dollars a month).
Many people will get a legal separation to preserve their health insurance under their spouse’s policy…if that policy allows continued coverage after a legal separation.
While there’s little to no law in Illinois regarding insuring your spouse during and after divorce. There is a lot of law about insuring your children during and after a divorce.
“Whenever the court establishes, modifies or enforces an order for child support or for child support and maintenance the court shall include in the order a provision for the health care coverage of the child.” 750 ILCS 505.2(b)(1)
The Illinois statute further instructs that the parent must provide proof of this health insurance.
“When the court order requires that a minor child be named as a beneficiary of a health insurance plan…the obligor shall provide written proof to the obligee…that the required insurance has been obtained, or that application for insurability has been made within 30 days of receiving notice of the court order.” 750 ILCS 505.2(c)(1)
If the a parent receiving child support is covering the child with their own insurance “the court shall order the obligor to reimburse the oblige for 50% of the premium for placing the child on his or her health insurance.” But the court has the flexibility to award more. “The court may order the obligor to reimburse the oblige for 100% of the premium for placing the child on his or her health insurance policy.” 750 ILCS 505.2(c)(2.5)
The penalty for not insuring your children is the same as when you do not insure your spouse during the divorce (as discussed above)
“Whenever the obligor fails to provide or maintain health insurance pursuant to an order for support, the obligor shall be liable to the obligee for the dollar amount of the premiums which were not paid, and shall also be liable for all medical expenses incurred by the child which would have been paid or reimbursed by the health insurance which the obligor was ordered to provide or maintain.” 750 ILCS 505.2(d).
Contact my Chicago, Illinois law office today to learn more about health insurance before, after and during divorce.
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