Rhode Island Has enacted the Rhode Island Well being Insurance coverage Continuation act. This act permits a individual to stay on their ex-husband or ex-wives well being Insurance coverage just after Final Judgment of Divorce.
Sadly, this act has been watered down by current case law out of the Federal Court District of Rhode Island. The case of Duclos v. Basic Dynamics Corp., 12 E.B.C. (BNA) 2648 (D.R.I. 1990) stands for the proposition that The Rhode Island well being Insurance coverage Continuation act is Preempted by ERISA. ERISA is a Federal Statute. Beneath Prevalent Law, if a federal statute and state statute relate to related subjects, Federal Law could preempt state law. The Federal Preemption Doctrine is “a doctrine in law that permits a federal law to take precedence more than or to displace a state law in specific matters of national significance (as interstate commerce)” Dictionary.com
Duclos v. Basic Dynamics Corp., 12 E.B.C. (BNA) 2648 (D.R.I. 1990) ruled that the “Rhode Island statute requiring specific divorced spouses to be granted continuation well being coverage with out further premiums was preempted by ERISA…” Quoted from Charles Shulman, Esq. “EBEC (Employee Rewards / Executive Compensation) Law Update”
Regardless of the Duclos ruling, several Rhode Island Employers let an ex spouse to stay on well being insurance coverage coverage just after Final Judgment of Divorce. Lots of employers are prohibiting ex spouses from coverage just after final Judgment of Divorce relying on the Duclos case. My Understanding is that Blue Cross Blueshield of Rhode Island permits an ex spouse to stay on well being insurance coverage just after Final Judgment of Divorce.
Throughout the pendency of the divorce, the parties should really figure out the employers policy and procedures connected to continuation of coverage just after Final Judgment of Divorce. If probable, they should really seek the business policy in writing from the Businesses advantages administrator. The Obligations of Rhode Island primarily based corporations to comply with the Rhode Island Well being Insurance coverage Continuation Act is beyond the scope of this Short article.
If a spouse will be remaining on his or her ex spouse’s insurance coverage then the following language should really and have to be place on the record at the Rhode Island Nominal Divorce Hearing and be memorialized into the Choice Pending Entry of Final Judgment as nicely as the Final Judgment of Divorce:
“Plaintiff shall give Defendant with Well being Insurance coverage and Dental Insurance coverage pursuant to the Rhode Island Well being Insurance coverage Continuation Act.”
This language should really be place on the record and memorialized into the Choice Pending and Final Judgment of Divorce even if the employer will be removing the spouse just after Final Judgment of Divorce!
The above described language incorporated into the Final Judgment of Divorce is generally interpreted by Judges of The Rhode Island Family members Court as which means the following:
1) If there is an further expense more than and above the expense of a single strategy for the ex spouse to stay covered by the well being insurance coverage strategy then the ex spouse have to spend that further quantity or he / she could be removed from the Well being Insurance coverage policy.
2) If the individual with Well being Insurance coverage loses their job, or goes to a different employer then the ex spouse will in all probability shed well being Insurance coverage coverage.
3) If either celebration (husband or wife) remarries than the ex spouse could shed Well being Insurance coverage coverage.
It is generally a excellent notion to especially place on the record at the nominal divorce hearing, that the ex spouse is necessary to spend any further premium more than and above the expense of a Single Program or they will be removed from the insurance coverage. These problems can get confusing if the expense for a household strategy consists of the kids and there is no further expense for the spouse. Please seek advice from with a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer about these problems.
The Rhode Island Well being Insurance coverage Continuation Act R.I.G.L Ã‚Â§ 27-20.four-1 states:
“In the occasion of a final judgment of divorce, no matter whether absolute or otherwise, exactly where one particular celebration to the divorce was at the time of the entry of the judgment for divorce a member of a well being strategy supplying household coverage * * * the individual who was the spouse of the celebration prior to the entry of judgment for divorce could stay eligible for continuing advantages below the strategy and well being upkeep organization with out further premium or examination if the order is incorporated in the judgment when entered. The eligibility shall continue as extended as the original member is a participant in the strategy or well being upkeep organization and till either one particular of the following shall take spot:
(1) the remarriage of either celebration to the divorce, or
(2) till a time as offered by the judgment for divorce. If the individual [eligible for continuing health care benefits] * * *becomes eligible to participate in a comparable strategy or well being upkeep organization by means of his or her personal employment, the continuation of the original strategy coverage shall cease.” Section 27-20.four-1(a). (Emphasis added.)
What are some of the well being insurance coverage alternatives out there to ex spouses just after Final Judgment of Divorce in Rhode Island?
COBRA Heath Insurance coverage could be a worthwhile choice for Ex Spouses just after Final judgment of Divorce.”Beneath COBRA, employers have to offer you the choice of continued well being insurance coverage coverage at group prices to certified workers and their households who are faced with loss of coverage due to specific events.” CRS Report for Congress Well being Insurance coverage Continuation Coverage march 2005 “… When the qualifying occasion, on the other hand, is a covered employee’s divorce or legal separation, COBRA coverage lasts for thirty-six months.”
“COBRA gives that employers who give their workers with healthcare coverage have to give continuation coverage to workers and their households who would otherwise shed coverage below the employer’s strategy as a outcome of a qualifying occasion. Qualifying events include things like: (a) a covered employee’s divorce or legal separation….When a qualifying occasion happens, the covered employee, his or her spouse, or dependents in search of COBRA coverage have to elect such coverage inside 60 days of the occurrence of the qualifying occasion and have to spend the necessary premiums.” Marsha Zolla, Healthcare and household Law