With the skyrocketing cost of medical insurance coverage, I am getting more and more phone calls from divorcing individuals that are being prematurely dropped from their spouse’s medical insurance before the divorce is finalized. This unilateral move, by the spouse paying for the insurance, is not acceptable to the courts for various reasons.
First, if there is an APL or spousal support order in place, the standard language in Pennsylvania generally requires one of the spouses to continue providing the insurance. Therefore, to do otherwise, would be in violation of the order. (This illustrates the need, or at least benefit, of having an existing APL or spousal support order.)
Second, Pennsylvania family division courts like status quo and certainly do not like the non-providing spouse being surprised that coverage has been dropped without their knowledge. This issue is generally avoided by insurance companies refusing to drop a spouse without a divorce decree; however, as a Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney, I have personally experienced situations where a client was dropped right before she had a c-scan without her knowledge. The good news is that I immediately filed a motion for reinstatement of the coverage, payment of the uncovered medicals, attorney fees and sanctions. Believe me, the judge was not happy and gave me everything I asked for.