Health insurance may no longer influences divorce

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

Illinois residents who follow divorce trends may be interested in the way the recent Affordable Care Act may impact separations. Before the ACA, some couples may have been forced to delay or defer divorce so both spouses could be covered under a job-related health insurance policy.

Previously, health insurance was generally acquired from an employer, and if one spouse was out of the workforce for a number of years or had a preexisting condition, it was difficult for them to obtain health insurance once the marriage ended. While it is possible for a divorced spouse to be covered by an extension of their former partner’s insurance utilizing COBRA, this coverage comes with an additional fee and ends after 36 months.

In addition, health insurance may have been used as leverage during divorce. When the divorce settlement was structured, negotiations sometimes involved exchanging an asset the spouse may have been entitled to for an extension health insurance.

Today, because of ACA, it may be easier for individuals to receive health insurance. This might make it easier for some individuals to leave an unhappy marriage, especially if they are older and currently unemployed.

The division of marital assets in Illinois takes all assets and liabilities a couple may share and attempts to allocate those assets equitably. When health insurance is concerned, the problem may become more complicated, especially if the unemployed party needs the insurance more. However, even as the ACA is making the process of finding health insurance coverage easier, the valuation and division of other assets may be difficult without the help of a family law lawyer.

Source: Philly.com, “Insurance no longer may hinder divorce“, Robert Calandra, March 03, 2014

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Health insurance may no longer influences divorce