COVERING YOUR SPOUSE

Q: I am getting married and would like to know if my spouse will be eligible for coverage? 

A: Yes. Your spouse would be eligible for coverage on the day of the event i.e. the date of your wedding if you submit a completed application Form 503 within 30 days of the marriage. You must submit with your application a copy of your marriage certificate and a copy of your spouse's social security card to your department's Human Resources Representative, or the Comptroller's Health Benefits Unit.

Active employees may contact their department's Human Resources Representative in advance of the wedding to apply for family coverage in order to avoid a waiting period. If you are a retiree, vestee or on COBRA, Contact Us at the Comptroller's Health Benefits Unit in advance of your wedding to apply for family coverage.

The effective date of the coverage for your spouse is determined by NYSHIP rules (see section on Effective Date of Coverage).

Q. I have been married for more than one year, but my spouse is not covered on my policy. How can I add my spouse to my existing coverage? 

A: If you have been married for more than a year additional documents are required and waiting periods may apply unless you have a valid qualifying event. Acceptable documents include: joint account bank statement, mortgage statement, home owners insurance, prior year's joint tax return. Contact your department's HR representative for more information. 

Q: What if my spouse also works for the County? 

A: The County offers one family health, dental and optical insurance plan and one health Buy-Out option to employees who are married to each other. The Buy-Out option is called Smart Savings. Employees who retire while enrolled in the program will also continue in the program. 

Q: I am getting divorced and would like to know when can I remove my spouse? 

A: You may voluntarily remove dependents you no longer wish to cover even if they are still eligible for coverage. If you are getting a divorce or your marriage is annulled, you can notify your HR representative prior to the final decree to remove your spouse. Once the divorce is final your former spouse is no longer eligible, and must be removed, even if a court orders you to maintain coverage. You must provide a copy of the Divorce Decree to your department's Human Resources Representative or the Comptroller's Office Health Benefits Unit immediately to avoid penalties that may apply from late notification.

If notification of divorce is delayed, active employees, retirees, vestees or those enrolled in COBRA may be responsible for unrecoverable premiums paid by Nassau County for the ex-spouse's coverage.

End of coverage for your spouse is effective the day in which the divorce is finalized in court. Your ex-spouse is eligible to continue coverage under COBRA or the New York State Continuation of Coverage Law.  

You should provide your department Human Resources representative with contact information for your ex-spouse so that COBRA information can be mailed to him/her.