If you get divorced and you:

  • Cover your ex-spouse and ex-spouse’s children on your benefits through the UW System, you need to remove them. Submit applications within 30 days of your divorce. Continuation notices will then be sent to your ex-spouse to their last known address. If their address has changed, notify your institution’s human resources contact so the continuation notice is mailed to the correct address. Your ex-spouse can also contact UW-Shared Services, Service Operations at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141 (7:45-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) to request applicable continuation notices.
  • Are covered by your ex-spouse’s benefits, you may be able to enroll in some benefits through the UW System. Submit applications within 30 days of your Loss of Other Coverage.

Review the information below for details specific to each plan. Visit the Forms & Resources web page for plan applications, forms, and brochures.

Changes to your personal information as a result of a divorce should be updated through the MyUW portal (with the exception of your name). Information on how to update your information in the MyUW portal can be found in the following resources:

You must remove your ex-spouse and step-children from your State Group Health Insurance once the divorce is final. Their coverage ends at the end of the month in which the divorce is final or at the end of the month in which a continuation notice is provided, whichever is later. They may continue coverage for up to 36 months by submitting a continuation application to the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). This must be done within 60 days of the coverage end date or the receipt of a continuation notice, whichever is later.

You may also change health insurance plan carriers (example: from GHC to Dean) or plan designs (example: from the health plan to the HDHP) due to divorce. If you change health insurance plan carriers or plan designs:

  • All limits and accumulators (deductible, benefit maximums, out-of-pocket) will reset to $0.
  • Pharmacy benefit and Uniform Dental benefit limits and accumulators will not reset.

If you change health insurance plan carriers or plan designs, the change is effective the first of the month on or following receipt of your application.

If you and your children were covered by your ex-spouse’s health insurance, and lost that coverage due to divorce, you may enroll in the UW System State Group Health Insurance program. This must be done within 30 days of losing your comparable coverage. See Loss of Other Coverage for more information.

Review the Life Change Events and Documentation Requirements (ET-2846) for information on documentation required.

Coverage for your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) ends at the end of the month in which your divorce is final. Or at the end of the month in which a continuation notice is provided to the ex-spouse, whichever is later.

Your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) may continue coverage for up to 36 months by submitting a continuation notice and application. This must be done within 60 days of the coverage end date or receipt of a continuation notice, whichever is later.

Coverage for your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) ends at the end of the month in which your divorce is final. Or at the end of the month in which a continuation notice is provided to the ex-spouse, whichever is later.

Your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) may continue coverage for up to 36 months by submitting a continuation notice and application. This must be done within 60 days of the coverage end date or receipt of a continuation notice, whichever is later.

Coverage for your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) ends on the date your divorce is final.

If you have Spouse and Dependent coverage, and your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) were your last eligible dependents, submit an application to cancel Spouse and Dependent coverage within 30 days of your divorce.

Your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) may convert coverage to an individual whole life insurance policy. To do so, submit a conversion application to Securian within 31 days of the coverage end date. Your ex-spouse can contact UW-Shared Services, Service Operations at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141 (7:45-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) for a conversion application.

Review your beneficiary designation and update, if necessary.

Coverage for your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) ends on the date your divorce is final.

If enrolled in Spouse/Domestic Partner coverage, submit an application to cancel coverage within 30 days of your divorce.

If enrolled in Child coverage, and your ex-spouse's covered children are your last eligible children, submit an application to cancel Child coverage. This must be done within 30 days of your divorce. This can be done via the same application with which you remove your ex-spouse.

Your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) may convert coverage to an individual whole life insurance policy. To do so, submit a conversion application to Securian within 31 days of the coverage end date. Your ex-spouse can contact UW-Shared Services, Service Operations at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141 (7:45-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) for a conversion application.

Review your beneficiary designation and update, if necessary.

This plan only offers employee coverage and is not affected by divorce. Review your beneficiary designation and update, if necessary.

This plan only offers employee coverage and is not affected by divorce. Review your beneficiary designation and update, if necessary.

Coverage for your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) ends on the date your divorce is final.

If you have Family coverage, and your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) were your last eligible dependents, submit an application to change to Employee Only Coverage.

Your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) may convert coverage to an individual policy. To do so, contact Zurich American Insurance Company at 1-800-834-1959 (reference UW System Policy # GTU-8364005) within 60 days of the coverage end date. Your ex-spouse can contact UW-Shared Services, Service Operations at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141 (7:45-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) for a conversion form.

Review your beneficiary designation and update, if necessary.

Coverage for your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) ends at the end of the month in which your divorce is final. Or at the end of the month in which a continuation notice is provided to the ex-spouse, whichever is later.

Your ex-spouse (and/or their covered children) may continue coverage for up to 36 months by submitting a continuation notice and application. This must be done within 60 days of the coverage end date or receipt of a continuation notice, whichever is later.

This plan only offers employee coverage and is not affected by divorce.

You may take the following actions within 30 days of the date of your divorce. Action must be consistent with your qualifying life event.

  • If you lost coverage under your ex-spouse's Health Care FSA, you may enroll in a Health Care FSA or increase your contribution amount.
  • Since your ex-spouse lost eligibility, you may decrease your Health Care FSA contribution amount.
  • If you lost coverage under your ex-spouse's Dependent Day Care Account, you may enroll in a Dependent Day Care Account or increase your contribution amount to accommodate newly-eligible dependents.
  • If your dependent resides with your ex-spouse due to divorce, you may decrease your Dependent Day Care Account contribution amount.

Submit a Change of Election Form within 30 days of your divorce to your institution benefits contact to enroll in or change your election. If you enroll, coverage is effective on the first of the month on or following your divorce.

You may make changes to your per paycheck contributions to your HSA at any time. Review your beneficiary designation and update them, if necessary.

Your WRS account can be included in your divorce settlement if the court issues a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) directing the Department of Employee Trust Funds to divide your account and your creditable service (up to 50%). For more information, see How Divorce Can Affect Your WRS Account. Review your beneficiary designation and update, if necessary.

Your 403(b) account can be included in your divorce settlement if the court issues a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) that is acceptable to your 403(b) recordkeeper(s).

You can enroll in or make changes to your 403(b) at any time.

Review your beneficiary designation(s) and update, if necessary.

Your Wisconsin Deferred Compensation account can be included in your divorce settlement if the court issues a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) that is acceptable to WDC.

You can enroll in or make changes at any time.

Review your beneficiary designation and update, if necessary.

Review your tax withholding exemptions and update, if necessary. For information review the Update Federal and/or State W4 Tipsheet.

Beneficiary Designations

Remember to review and update your beneficiary designations when you have a life event to make sure that your benefits are paid according to your wishes. Benefit plans that have beneficiary designations include life insurance plans, retirement plans and the health savings account.

For more information review the Beneficiary Information web page.

Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. Information on this page does not guarantee enrollment, benefits and/or the ability to make changes to your benefits.

Updated: 11/30/2022