Is Getting a Non-ACA Plan Feasible to Remove a Spouse from an Employer Plan?

In the United States, employer-sponsored health insurance plans play a significant role in providing coverage for many individuals and families. However, there may be situations where employees or their dependents need to cancel their work health plan due to various reasons. This can lead to uncertainties about whether non-ACA plans can be used to remove a spouse from an employer policy. This blog explores the feasibility of using non-ACA plans for this purpose, providing valuable insights for those navigating this complex topic.

Understanding Non-ACA Plans

Non-ACA (Affordable Care Act) plans are health insurance plans that do not comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These plans offer limited coverage compared to ACA-compliant plans and often do not cover essential health benefits like maternity care, mental health services, or prescription drug coverage.

Can Non-ACA Plans be Used to Remove a Spouse?

In general, a change in health insurance coverage for a spouse may qualify as a “life event” that allows individuals to make changes to their employer health plan outside of the open enrollment period. Non-ACA plans, such as short-term health insurance or limited benefit plans, do not create a qualifying life event in most cases. This means that getting a non-ACA plan solely to remove a spouse from an employer policy may not be a feasible option.

Alternative Options for Removing a Spouse

If an employee’s spouse has other sources of health insurance coverage, such as an employer-sponsored plan or Medicaid, this may qualify as a life event and allow the employee to remove the spouse from their policy. It is essential to consult with the employer or a licensed health insurance agent to determine the specific criteria and documentation required to prove the change in coverage status.

Additional Considerations

Employer Policies: Each employer may have different rules and procedures regarding the cancellation of work health plans. It is crucial to consult with the Human Resources department to understand the specific requirements and potential consequences of canceling the plan.
Waiting Periods: Non-ACA plans may have waiting periods before coverage begins, and these periods can vary from plan to plan. If the intention is to quickly remove a spouse from an employer plan, non-ACA plans may not be an ideal option due to these waiting periods.
Coverage Limitations: Non-ACA plans have significant coverage limitations and exclusions compared to ACA-compliant plans. It is crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of any plan before making a decision to ensure that the spouse will have adequate coverage.


While non-ACA plans may provide temporary coverage options, they are generally not feasible for removing a spouse from an employer health plan. It is essential to explore alternative options, consult with the employer, and consider the specific circumstances and requirements before making any changes to health insurance coverage. By seeking professional guidance from a licensed health insurance agent, individuals and families can make informed decisions about their health insurance needs, ensuring they have adequate coverage that meets their unique requirements.

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