As part of my divorce settlement, I have to provide my ex-wife’s health insurance for three years. Can I just leave her on my plan from work?
Single in Massachusetts
Dear Single in Massachusetts,
In any state, as soon as the divorce is legally final, the ex-wife does not qualify to be covered as a spouse. She could continue on the plan under COBRA for 36 months – or three years. Her attorney likely chose the three years, knowing that COBRA would last for that long.
The bummer is that you cannot pay for COBRA as a pre-tax payroll deduction. Talk with your attorney about making the cost of the COBRA coverage part of alimony. That will help you on your taxes: you can deduct alimony payments, if you itemize your deductions.