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Posted on in Divorce

The cost of health insurance is one of the many factors to consider when contemplating divorce.  According to a 2012 study by the University of Michigan, approximately 115,000 women lose their private health insurance every year due to divorce. Under the Affordable Care Act, or as it is colloquially known, Obamacare, however, divorce could decrease health insurance costs.

  health insurance & divorce IMAGECurrently, individuals and couples within a particular income range can receive Obamacare subsidies that lower the amount they spend monthly or reduce their out-of-pocket costs for copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Married couples have their incomes counted together for the purposes of determining their eligibility for Obamacare subsidies. In contrast, couples that live together without getting married have their incomes evaluated separately. For example, a married couple from New York recently announced that they might file for divorce to qualify for Obamacare subsidies. Nona Aronowitz and Aaron Cassara related to The Atlantic that a divorce could save the couple thousands of dollars in health insurance costs.  Nona, a freelance writer, and Aaron, who works in the film industry, earn more than $62,000 a year. The couple’s yearly income places them over the 400 percent of the federal poverty level cutoff to qualify for Obamacare subsidies.  However, if the coupled divorced and chose instead to simply live together, they would qualify for the subsidies and save thousands of dollars a year. Moreover, even if Nona and Aaron’s combined income fell below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, the subsidies for which the couple would be eligible might be worth less than subsidies for which they would be eligible as unmarried, cohabitating individuals. While Kane County couples are unlikely to consider divorce to increase their eligibility for subsidies to purchase insurance, couples contemplating divorce should think about the health-related implications of their divorce.  Other Health-Related Concerns in a Divorce Aside from health insurance costs, there are other health-related considerations for those contemplating or in the midst of divorce.
  • Insurance premiums: A temporary court order could be required to make sure that all health insurance premiums get paid as usual.

  • Long-term-care coverage: If a couple already owns long-term-care insurance together, they need to research what happens to their coverage in a divorce.

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