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Will the Affordable Care Act Bump Up the Divorce Rate?

With the roll-out of the health insurance marketplace provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the government aims to provide better health insurance options across the board. For couples considering divorce, the viability of individual health insurance may remove an obstacle to divorce.

In the United States, a large number of women are carried on the employment-based health insurance plans of their spouse. The health care of these women is marginalized at divorce when they are dropped from those health plans.

In 2012, a study from the University of Michigan looked at longitudinal data from 1996 through 2007 for women from 26 through 64 years of age. The analysis sought to identify conditions faced by women seeking health insurance after divorce. Findings included: 

  • Approximately 115,000 women lose health care insurance due to divorce each year
  • About 65,000 women each year lose all health care coverage in the six months following their divorce
  • Women of moderate income more often lose coverage as wealthy women can afford coverage and women of lower income may qualify for public insurance.
  • Although not immune to losing coverage, women with employer-based insurance coverage of their own are less likely to lose access to health care

Especially into older age, some couples stay together or separate without divorce to accommodate the insurance needs of the spouse who would lose coverage. In theory, the ACA may remove impediments to couples who put off divorce for these reasons.

If considering divorce, understanding your health insurance position is essential prior to negotiations. Speak with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. for strong protection of your rights — and your future.

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