Can my father in-law be held liable for his ex-wife’s health care bill?

UPDATED: Dec 5, 2011

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Can my father in-law be held liable for his ex-wife’s health care bill?

Per his insurance company he did not fulfill his obligation to notify them that he was divorced and when she went in due to a heart attack she was covered by his insurance which he gets through his job, because they thought she was still covered, and she went along with it. Now they are billing him for the cost of her care.

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the premiums were being paid for your father-in-law's former wife's health insurance I fail to see the factual basis why the health insurer would be seeking reimbursement for the former wife's health costs. Possibly the divorce decree mandated continued health coverage for her by him.

Assuming the benefits for health care were improperly made to the former wife, she should be responsible for any reimbursement to the carrier. I recommend that your father in law consult with an attorney who practices insurance law about the subject you are writing about. The key to getting an answer to your question would be to carefully read the insurance policy at issue and the requirements of the policy holder.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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