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Can my spouse take me off his health insurance before we are separated?

Toledo, OH |

I am from Ohio and I have been on my husbands health insurance for about 13 years. My husband and I separated and no papers were filed yet. A couple months ago when I was in the middle of getting some work done he took me off his insurance. Is it legal for him to do that? I was told by someone who is going through the same thing that its not and also by someone who works for a insurance company. Please help I need insurance.

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Attorney answers 3


Ohio has a statutory provision that prohibits a party to a domestic relations action from canceling the health insurance for a spouse or dependents. (ORC 3105.71). However, this provision deals with parties to an action before the Court. At this time, there appears to be no action before the Court.

You need to contact an attorney and file at least for a legal separation. You should be able to get the insurance reinstated and an order for him to pay the medical expenses that are uncovered due to his action. Depending upon the facts of your case, you may also be able to receive spousal support. But in any event, the court will at the very least make temporary orders that require certain bills to be paid. Do not delay, you need to have a consultation immediately because the Court cannot order support back before its jurisdiction has been invoked (a case has been filed).

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Unfortunately everything he did was legal. Most states have statutory provisions that protect spouses and children from being taken off of health and insurance during a domestic action such as a divorce. However, before the court has jurisdiction the other party is free to do as they please. Your first course of action is to consult an attorney and to file a separation agreement, or for divorce. Once that takes place the court can reinstate the insurance.

As far as any medical expenses incurred, the court may used those as an offset when determining equitable distribution, or in determining support.


Under O.R.C. Section 3105.71 the Ohio law prohibits a party to a divorce, annulment, dissolution of marriage or legal separation action from cancelling or othewise terminating health insurance coverage that covered that party's spouse prior to the filing of the action. If they do so, the statute makes them personally liable for their spouses uncovered medical expenses.

Unfortunately, the statute speaks in terms of someone cancelling insurance that was in effect prior to the filing of the action. As such it does not appear that this statue provides you protection as your husband cancelled the policy when no legal action mention in the statue was pending.

If you wish the court to order your husband to be held responsible for your support and medical expenses you need to invoke the court's jurisdiction and obtain a support order. No court will happy with someone cancelling a spouses coverage. However, I do not know your circumstances or how long you were separated. Without more information I hope this helps you.

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