each spouse has employer medical but legal separation

ody Q: Beginning of year 2014, a couple is married and each spouse works for their employer which has medical coverage. However, one spouse is on the other spouse’s medical/dental/vision coverage.

End of year 2014, the couple split and file divorce papers are filed. Both spouses are still covered under one employee’s benefit package.

End of Feb 2015, open enrollment begins for male ex-spouse and medical/dental/vision that will begin on Mar 1 2015. Male dropped ex spouse and kids from his employer’s benefits effective Mar 1 2015. The female ex spouse has the opportunity to go on her own employer’s medical coverage from date of separation or end of male’s ex spouse current benefit period that ends on Feb 28, 2015.

My question:

Can the female ex-spouse be entitled to cobra coverage on the male’s cobra coverage if female ex-spouse has and had medical coverage but chose to waive her own employer’s medical coverage to go on male’s coverage plan?

Background r Both spouses have employers with more than 20 employees r Both spouses are salaried employees so no reduction in hours r Neither one of us terminated employment

A: Yes, divorce is a qualifying event to start COBRA Continuation, regardless of if your ex-wife has access to other plans. However, in most cases, the ex-spouse (not you in this case) will have to pay her own premiums, which could be up to 102% of the total premium. The only exception to this is if there is a court-order in place for you to pay the premium for her.

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