Thousands lose health insurance coverage after divorce

Many Joliet residents understand the benefits that come with being married. From combining assets to sharing health insurance, there are a number of benefits gained when two individuals share one household.

By the same token, however, spouses may lose those same benefits when a marriage ends in divorce. This can be particularly troublesome when a couple has been married for several years, as they tend to grow more dependent on each other during that time.

Indeed, a new study shows that about 115,000 women lose health insurance following a divorce, with some still having inadequate health insurance two years after the divorce. With many women being insured through a family member’s insurance coverage, that coverage is at jeopardy after a marriage ends in divorce.

Given the importance of health insurance coverage, the issue may become part of settlement negotiations in a couple’s divorce. For instance, one spouse may continue paying the health insurance for another as part of the divorce settlement.

In this vein, the issue may become similar to spousal support, which exists to limit the unfair economic effects of a marriage to one spouse. Spousal support, also deemed alimony, is thus rehabilitative, as it is ordered in some cases to be paid long enough to allow the other spouse to become self-supporting.

Health insurance payments in a settlement would be similar, in that a payor spouse would continue making payments until the other spouse is able to become self-supporting and make those payments. Ultimately, health insurance, spousal support and other issues will all be part of a divorce settlement to be considered by the parties.

Source: Yahoo! News, “115,000 women a year lose health insurance through divorce,” Shari Roan, Dec. 14, 2012

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Thousands lose health insurance coverage after divorce