Law Office of David L. Scott

Can I Keep my Health Insurance After Divorce in Tennessee?

There are so many things to think about when it comes to dissolving a marriage that health insurance coverage may not have crossed your mind. However, it is important not to overlook this important issue. While many couples believe that they can reach an agreement to remain on each other’s health insurance for a certain period following a divorce, the choice is unfortunately not up to them.

What Does Tennessee Law Say?

According to Tennessee Code Annotated section 56-7-2366, if a person is on their spouse’s health insurance policy, their coverage will terminate upon the divorce being decreed by the court. Additionally, the spouse who has the health insurance policy is required to notify the other spouse in writing 30 days prior to the final divorce decree that their coverage will be terminated. This notice should also instruct the party to find their own coverage or get Cobra coverage. Because this is the law, it is illegal to try and cheat the system by failing to send this notice, or by refraining from notifying your insurance company of the divorce in order to keep the other party insured.

What if My Spouse Needs Continued Coverage?

While in most cases a party will not have a difficult time obtaining coverage in the aftermath of a divorce, in some cases, it will not be financially possible, or there will be a reason why it is important to maintain their current coverage. For instance, if the spouse who is at risk of losing coverage has cancer or is about to have surgery, they may not want to risk having a lapse in coverage or may wish to keep their current coverage until after the procedure is done. In this case, you do have some options provided that the other party is willing to cooperate.

One option would be for both parties to agree to delay finalizing the divorce by the court for a certain period, such as six months, to ensure that the other party can have and recover from their surgery before losing this coverage. Another option is to pursue a legal separation as opposed to a divorce if the insurance carrier will still provide coverage after a legal separation. This is a big decision and may make the most sense in the event that the other party has cancer or another serious condition which will require ongoing care. Once circumstances change or the spouse in need can find a means of obtaining their own coverage, the parties can proceed with their formal divorce.

Another option would be considering the need for health and medical care when calculating the spousal support or alimony payments to ensure that the other party will have the assets, they need to maintain their necessary medical insurance coverage. The best way to determine the best option for your specific situation is to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer who can consider all the circumstances of your case.

Talk to the Law Office of David L. Scott in Murfreesboro, TN

If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about how it will affect your health insurance, it is best to consult with an attorney sooner rather than later. Contact the Law Office of David L. Scott today to schedule a consultation.

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