My wife notified me she wants a divorce on 10/22/13 but we have not filed anything officially yet. At what point can I drop her health coverage?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Even though there are no existing court orders preventing you from dropping her from your coverage, doing so can be a problem. The court could order her reinstatement and coverage costs due to her removal could be higher. Once the petition is filed and served on you, there will be automatic orders issued by the court prohibiting cancellation of insurance.
I would also add that until you file for divorce your community property is all at risk if she has an uninsured major health event, and it may be at risk even after you file before your divorce is final. And as Ms. Kock said, you might very well just be ordered to reinstate it anyway, and you can't drop it once one of you files. So realistically, at best it will get you a few months before you are ordered to put her back on it, that is if you are at open enrollment and even are allowed to do it - just INTENDING to divorce is not grounds to drop someone mid-year on most plans. And in a worst case scenario, like a tragic accident or unknown cancer or other major medical problem, you could wind up bankrupt. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is never a good idea.