Can the Court require health insurance for a spouse?

Yes, in Maryland the Court can require one spouse to continue or reinstate (if cancelled) the other spouse on their group health insurance policy.

A spouse can usually be included under a group health insurance policy until the date of the parties’ divorce. Upon divorce, a former spouse typically has the right to elect up to 3 years of continuing coverage under the group policy or indefinitely under Maryland law (also known as “COBRA” coverage). Often, COBRA coverage costs substantially more than the group coverage provided before the parties’ divorce and military coverage has special rules.

Under Maryland and federal law, the Court has the discretion to allocate between spouses the costs of providing spousal group health insurance benefits, either pendente lite (while the divorce litigation is pending) or at the time of the divorce. Such an allocation can be required in addition to any alimony or child support awarded by the Court.

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