Divorce and Health Insurance in Arizona

divorce and health insuranceYou have to address so many pressing questions before and during divorce proceedings. One of these issues is the provision of health insurance upon the finalization of the divorce. Will a dependent spouse and children remain on the primary provider’s health insurance plan? Will a modification occur?

Dependent Spouse Health Insurance: Who Provides It during the Divorce?

In Arizona, a dependent spouse and kids have the right to continue the current health insurance coverage during the marriage dissolution proceedings.

A dependent spouse can seek a preliminary injunction in court. The aim of this procedure is to prevent the policyholder from dropping their spouse from the plan.

These rules, however, apply to the period before the finalization of the marriage dissolution. After the divorce becomes a fact, health insurance provision becomes a bit more complex.

Even if a spouse agrees to keep a dependent spouse on the plan, the insurance provider has the right to drop them. An employer has no obligation to continue making premiums for their employee’s ex after the finalization of a divorce.  Thus, an employer is another entity that can contribute to a dependent spouse being dropped from an insurance plan.

To address such issues, it’s best to feature health insurance provision in the divorce agreement. This way, both parties will have peace of mind and they’ll know how to move forward after the marriage dissolution becomes a legal fact.

Can the Court Order One Spouse to Pay Health Insurance for the Other?

It’s possible for the Arizona court to order the provision of health insurance under specific circumstances.

If you can petition the court and provide evidence for the coverage provision need, chances are that you’ll get a ruling in your favor.

The court can also order one partner or the other to pay for the children’s health insurance. Depending on the divorce agreement, the obligation can continue for years to come and until a child turns 18.

Generally Speaking, Who Pays for Medical Insurance after an Arizona Divorce?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? Getting a simple answer, however, is not always possible.

In most cases, a divorce finalizes one partner’s obligation to include their former spouse into a workplace health insurance plan. The policy may be retained for a pre-determined time period under COBRA. Keep in mind, however, that an employer will no longer be obliged to pay a portion of the premium that was previously subsidized.

Thus, maintaining health insurance coverage under COBRA can be quite expensive and it’s not going to be the best long-term solution.

The cost of insurance could be considered when alimony is being calculated. It’s up to you, however, to decide whether you’re going to keep the current insurance provider or if you’re going to look for a more affordable option.

Health Insurance Provision for Kids: Can the Obligation Be Modified?

Health insurance payments for kids can be enforced by the court, much like child support payments. If the divorce agreement highlights this responsibility, you’ll have to do your best to maintain the coverage.

Under A.R.S. 25-327, however, you may seek change if you experience a substantial change in circumstances.

A substantial change in circumstances diminishes your ability to continue earning an income and making the payment. Getting in a car accident that contributes to disability represents one example of a substantial change in circumstances.

In such instances, you can turn to the Arizona court and seek a modification in child support and health insurance payments. The Arizona Child Support guidelines will be used to recalculate the amount of the child support, as well as the health insurance payments.

Click here for information on the Arizona child support guidelines.