Legal Professionals of Hirsch & Ehlenberger

What happens to FEHB spousal benefits in divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2021 | Divorce

For people who are on their spouse’s workplace health insurance plan, an impending divorce is likely going to mean having to find new coverage. That is true if your spouse is a federal employee and you’re covered on their Self Plus One or their Self and Family plan of their Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB). 

Just when does that coverage end? Do you also need to be concerned about your children’s insurance? It’s crucial to consider these and other insurance matters.

The Spouse Equity Act

If you’re a non-federal employee divorcing a federal employee, you’re entitled to keep your coverage until the divorce is final, even if you’re legally separated. However, your coverage under that plan ends on the day your divorce is final (specifically, at midnight).

The good news is that, unlike most private employer health insurance plans, you have options to remain covered as a former spouse of a federal employee – if you qualify to enroll in an FEHB plan under the Spouse Equity Act. However, if there’s going to be a gap in coverage as you await approval, you may obtain a temporary continuation of coverage (TCC) provision

Your children’s coverage

The spouse who’s a federal employee can continue to keep the children covered under their plan. If there’s only one child, they can switch from Self and Family to Self Plus One. 

You may want to include a provision in your child support or other agreement stipulating that your spouse will continue to include your children on their FEHB plan for as long as they qualify to be on it or until they obtain their own coverage.

There are a lot of things on your mind as you go through a divorce, and insurance coverage may not be at the top of the list. However, it is wise to look at all of your insurance policies. If you have experienced legal guidance, you’re less likely to neglect what could become serious problems.


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