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How health insurance impacts divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2017 | Divorce, Spousal Maintenance

Because of uncertainty surrounding federal health care policy, some Minnesota residents whose marriages are coming to an end might be putting their divorces on hold. In some cases, couples are choosing to stay together while finalizing the terms of an eventual divorce. In others, couples are having divorce papers drafted but are not signing or filing them.

In the past, couples usually separated to enable both individuals to stay on a health care plan. However, many employers no longer allow a separated spouse to be a part of a worker’s plan. According to a study from the University of Michigan, 115,000 women lost their health insurance each year prior to 2012 because of a divorce. The Affordable Care Act has made it easier for divorced individuals to find a plan since it took effect in 2014. Republicans in Congress are trying to repeal and replace the ACA with a plan of their own.

Those who got divorced prior to the ACA found that insurance companies charged them more for having a pre-existing condition. Individuals who had depression or were in therapy were even in danger of being denied coverage completely by insurance companies. Further complicating matters is that health costs are generally used in part to determine how much alimony a person may be entitled to, which means that it may be necessary to estimate costs in spite of uncertainty in the market.

The end of a marriage could create uncertainty. This is because people may need to find a new place to live, build their own credit profile and find health insurance. An attorney can often help negotiate a settlement agreement that takes these matters into account.

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