1. Divorce, Legal Separation, and Rights Under Employer-Sponsored Health & Welfare Plans

Divorce, Legal Separation, and Rights Under Employer-Sponsored Health & Welfare Plans

Divorce, Legal Separation, and Rights Under Employer-Sponsored Health & Welfare Plans
Event ID: 70149
Not for Sale
Recording: 15356

Duration: Scheduled for 90 minutes including question and answer period.
Presenter: Christine Williams, founder, Health Plan Plain Talk
Price: $299.00, On-Demand includes full audio presentation, question and answer session, and presentation slides.
CE Credits: This program has been approved for 1.5 general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. This program is valid for 1.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.
Who Should Attend? HR, employee benefits, financial officers, in-house counsel, and CEOs


An employee gets a divorce and perhaps experiences depression, confusion about how to move forward, or a joyous sense of release. But what about the employee’s life insurance beneficiaries, health coverage for the employee’s kids and former spouse, disclosure of health plan information about the kids and former spouse, coverage of care for the kids (or other dependent individuals) from a dependent care assistance program? What if the employee and spouse are legally separated instead of divorced—are the benefits results the same? Is state law ever important in answering these questions? Do former domestic partners have the same rights as former spouses? These and other questions relating to the effect of divorce or legal separation on health and welfare benefits arise regularly and can often present administrative difficulties as well as communication problems in explaining the effects to employees and former spouses.

Please join Christine Williams, founder of Health Plan Plain Talk, as she reviews some of the most problematic post-divorce and post-separation issues for employer-sponsored health & welfare plans.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • COBRA rights of a former spouse, including maximum coverage period, responsibility for payment of premiums, and coverage of dependents
  • How to deal with COBRA problems that arise when an employee fails to report a divorce to the health plan
  • The effect of divorce on health flexible spending arrangements, health reimbursement arrangements, and health savings accounts
  • Determining who is the beneficiary of an employee’s life insurance after divorce
  • Disclosure of the protected health information (including explanations of benefits) of an employee’s children and former spouse after a divorce
  • Coverage of children under a dependent child assistance program after a divorce
  • The effect of divorce orders that require an employee to maintain health coverage, or designate specified life insurance beneficiaries
  • The effect of qualified child support orders and national medical support notices on health plan coverage
  • Disclosure of the effects of divorce and legal separation in summary plan descriptions
  • The importance of plan language relating to divorce and legal separation



Your conference leader for “Divorce, Legal Separation, and Rights Under Employer-Sponsored Health & Welfare Plans” is Christine Williams. Ms. Williams has worked in the employee benefits field since 1987, both in private practice and as in-house counsel to a Fortune 100 company, and recently founded HealthPlanPlainTalk.com, an online resource for benefit plan sponsors and employee benefit professionals. She has extensive experience with all types of health and welfare plans, and was the editor and a contributing author of HIPAA Portability, Privacy, & Security, published by the Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA), a division of Thomson Reuters, and is now a contributor to that publication. She was a contributing author of Health Care Reform for Employers and Advisors, also published by EBIA. She has provided advice on HIPAA, health care reform, and benefit plan compliance to a wide range of health plans, employers that sponsor health plans, and business associates, and she regularly teaches seminars for employee benefit professionals. Before moving into employee benefits, Ms. Williams was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.


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