Thursday, October 23, 2008

Medical Benefits, COBRA, and Divorce

Beware of failing to notify your employer regarding the entry of a divorce decree! Upon divorce, ex-spouses can no longer maintain each other under employer paid health insurance policies except through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reform Act (COBRA). By electing COBRA an ex-spouse can generally maintain coverage for up to thirty-six (36) months. Some parties choose to negotiate payment of COBRA benefits as part of their marital settlement agreement. In Trustees of the AFTRA Health Fund v. Biondi the court found the former Husband liable for over $100,000 in claims paid on behalf of his former Wife after the Husband failed to notify the employer regarding the divorce.