Separation and Cobra coverage

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Separation and Cobra coverage

My husband and I have been apart for 9.5 years. I just got put onto long term disability through work. I’ve been offered to take under 65 retirement and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Ive been told that I do not need to provide coverage for my husband he gets Medicare. I was also told he can get on my company’s COBRA but it looks as if I would have to pay his benefits from what Im reading in the paperwork. He insists that I have to pay for his coverage no matter what.

Asked on August 26, 2019 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A spouse is not legally responsible for non-emergency or non-necessary medical care for her spouse, and is not required to have or maintain a health plan for her spouse. There is no law requiring you to provide or pay for his coverage. IF he has to have necessary emergency medical care and IF does not or cannot fully pay for it (i.e. his Medicare or other coverage does not fully pay and he does not pay any co-pays or deductibles) then it is possible that the necessary/emergency care provider could seek payment from you--but again, this is only for necessary or emergency care, and does not include routine visits, elective care, etc.  This is because the law expects spouses to provide the absolute essentials for each other, but does not require you to generally pay for what you spouse wants.
You can divorce without an attorney: you may wish to file for one, to 100% separate yourself legally and financially from someone who is evidently not part of your life any longer.

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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