Divorce and Health Insurance in Wisconsin

divorceDivorce is never an easy thing. While it takes an obvious emotional toll, divorce also complicates many other aspects of both spouses’ lives. Health insurance is one such issue that a married couple will face upon ending their union, particularly if a spouse is receiving coverage via their spouse’s employer.

With some of the fairly recent changes in Wisconsin law regarding health insurance, there may be some confusion on this topic. Prior to these changes, employer-provided health insurance policies allowed for the termination of a spouse’s coverage once a couple was divorced. However, there was no clarity on circumstances regarding legal separation. As such, couples often maintained health insurance by choosing to legally separate instead of divorce.

In an effort to close this legal loophole, employers qualified legal separation as grounds for terminating spousal health coverage. The state of Wisconsin, in response to this action, enacted a statute that prevented employers from ending health coverage on the basis of legal separation. Therefore, if a married couple chooses to legally separate instead of divorce, they may continue to retain health coverage for both parties.

If a couple chooses to divorce, your ex-spouse will not be able to keep you on his or her insurance, regardless if they would like to or not. It is a matter of rules and procedures rather than personal choice. It is possible that an ex-spouse may be ordered to pay the cost of future health insurance, but this would be a form of alimony or maintenance, and up to both parties to agree to.

At Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C., we have a skilled team of Madison divorce attorneys who are prepared to represent your best interests. Ending a marriage is difficult and painful and having an experienced attorney at your side can help make the process go smoothly and amicably.

To learn more about how an attorney at our firm can represent you in divorce litigation, call us at (608) 765-1001 for a consultation.