Is an ex-spouse eligible for COBRA following a divorce?

For an ex-spouse to be eligible for COBRA, he or she must have been covered on the employee’s insurance plan at the time of the divorce. The employee must notify his or her employer of the divorce within 60 days of the date of the divorce, complete an enrollment change application and submit the change application to the Agency Benefits Coordinator (ABC) along with a copy of the divorce decree that has been signed by the judge.  After the ABC has signed the enrollment change application, the form along with the divorce decree that has been signed by the judge must be sent to Benefits Administration no later than 60 days from the date of the divorce.  If this documentation has not been received by our office within 60 days of the date of the divorce, the ex-spouse will not be eligible for COBRA benefits.

 The ex-spouse will remain on the employee’s insurance benefits through the end of the month that the divorce occurs. The ex-spouse cannot remain on the employee’s coverage past this time even if the divorce decree states insurance must be maintained because the ex-spouse is no longer an eligible dependent on the state plan.

 After Benefits Administration has processed the enrollment change application form, a COBRA letter usually generates within 2-3 business days. It is mailed in the ex-spouse’s name to the address of the employee. The employee is responsible for getting the COBRA letter to the ex-spouse. If the ex-spouse does not receive the COBRA letter, he or she may contact Benefits Administration at 615-741-3590 or 800-253-9981 and select option four for COBRA and request another copy to be mailed to the ex-spouse’s current address.

The ex-spouse can enroll in COBRA for up to 36 months.  If the ex-spouse does not wish to stay on the COBRA benefits for up to 36 months, the State will allow the ex-spouse to cancel the COBRA “current.” This means if an ex-spouse wants to cancel COBRA as of August 1, he or she would have to notify Benefits Administration no later than July 31. If notified on August 3, BA could not cancel it retroactively to August 1. It would end on August 31.

The State does not allow a retroactive cancellation and does not pro-rate premiums. A written request to cancel COBRA must be dated and post-marked no later than the last day of the month for the next month’s cancel date and be sent to: Benefits Administration, 1900 WRS Tennessee Tower, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Nashville, TN  37243. A request to cancel COBRA may also be submitted through Zendesk and must be submitted no later than the last day of the month for the next month’s cancel date.   

Have more questions? Submit a request