Special Provisions for Former Spouses

If you have family membership covering your spouse and you divorce, your spouse may continue to be covered under your family membership:

  • If the divorce order specifically calls for this, and
  • If neither you nor your former spouse remarries.

If you or your former spouse remarry, your former spouse’s eligibility for coverage ends. Once coverage ends, your former spouse may continue coverage on an individual basis under COBRA for the remaining period (if any) until 36 months have gone by since your divorce or separation.

If your divorce order specifically requires coverage for your former spouse to continue beyond the COBRA continuation period, your former spouse may be eligible to continue coverage under an individual membership (if available, under the Health Plan and the various vendors providing benefits). This membership will continue as long as you continue to be employed at the University and have made the appropriate payment for coverage or until no longer required by the divorce order or no longer available.

Special Tax Considerations

Under current tax laws, the value of your former spouse’s health coverage is subject to federal income and Social Security taxes. These taxable amounts are based on the full amount of an individual plan (that is, employee contribution plus employer contribution) and are called imputed income. Imputed income for your former spouse’s health coverage will be reported as income on each paycheck, and will be included in the taxable earnings shown on your W-2 Form. Coverage for your former spouse is subject to imputed income for tax purposes.