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Michigan Family Law Blog

What Will Happen to My Health Insurance in a Divorce in Michigan?

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Feb 21, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

There are many issues to consider when you're contemplating a potential divorce or separation.  One thing that comes to mind for many people is what will happen to their health insurance.  This is a particularly important consideration if they are self-employed or a home-maker who does not otherwise have health insurance available as a benefit of their employment but it can be a problem for anyone who has health insurance through their spouse's employer.  There are several ways that this might be handled and every case is different, this blog is intended to broadly address this issue, if you have questions about your particular situation, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation either online or by calling (248) 608-4123.

Will I Lose My Health Insurance If I File for Divorce in Michigan?

You are eligible to remain on your spouse's employer provided health insurance plan until the divorce is final, so you should not lose your coverage right after you file.  In many cases, you may request (and the court will grant) an ex parte restraining order at the start of the case that orders the other spouse to maintain the health insurance and keep you covered until the case is finalized.  The real issue is what will happen once the case is final and you are actually divorced.

Once you are actually divorced, you have the right to stay on your spouse's employer provided health insurance plan for up to three yeas under COBRA.  However, COBRA based insurance plans are usually more expensive than other similar plans on the open market, so in many cases, people do not opt for using the COBRA approach.  This begs the question of who will pay for the monthly health insurance premiums?

Who Will Pay the Monthly Premiums After the Divorce?

Who pays for the health insurance premiums and for how long depends on the situations of the parties.  If it is a case where one party earns significantly more income than the other party, the marriage has lasted a significant period of time and other factors indicate that it is a case where alimony would be appropriate, then the courts may require that the other spouse pay the health insurance premiums.  The court could order that the other spouse pay some additional alimony and then the recipient of the alimony obtains and pays the premiums independently.  Alternatively, it could order that the other spouse pay the premiums directly in addition to alimony or in lieu of alimony. 

As far as how long will the other spouse have to pay the premiums, the court may order that the other spouse pay for a shorter time to help the recipient spouse until they are able to afford their own coverage or for a longer period of time, such as until the other spouse is able to obtain Medicare or other governmentally subsidized health insurance.

Health insurance is only one insurance issue, there is also vehicle insurance and life insurance.  There are so many things to consider when a divorce appears imminent, that it is always wise to consult with an attorney.  Please contact us to discuss your case either online or calling (248) 608-4123.  

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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