Middle-class women tend to be the most affected by a divorce, in terms of health insurance coverage. A study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior at the end of 2012 found that over 100,000 women annually lose their private health insurance as a result of divorce. And unfortunately, the middle class tends to suffer the most as a result of their income being too high for public assistance but too low to have coverage outside of their ex-spouse’s company offered insurance. The age group most severely impacted is 40-60. This group is under the Medicare age requirement, and in many cases relies on their spouse’s health plan.
On some occasions even a spouse with insurance through an employer may elect to unenroll for a period of time to cover new daily increased costs of living single. Research has shown that a divorce typically has a severely negative effect on most women’s income and relative purchase power. A married couple has numerous cost and tax advantages not as often offered to single counterparts.
The ironic part of this is all is that happily married people tend to be healthier too. However, according to a study published in Psychology Today, a happy single person is far better off than a unhappy married one.
What does this mean for someone considering a divorce?
A spouse considering a divorce or expecting one should never see the loss of insurance or property as a reason not to follow through. Unhappy marriages can wreak havoc on every aspect of our life and getting health insurance is getting easier and easier. But preparedness can always buffer the blow of losing a health insurance plan. A divorcing spouse can look into his or her plan, options, and expected budget to avoid the risk of living without health insurance.
Talk to your employer. Your employer must allow late enrollment in their health plan if you lost your insurance under certain circumstances such as divorce.
COBRA. This federal Act allows you to keep your ex-spouse’s coverage at a high premium for another 36 months. Only certain organizations apply but it is important to know your rights.
Medicare or Medicaid? You may be eligible for Medicare if you are 65 or over. You may be eligible for Medicaid if you meet certain income requirements. The Affordable Care Act of 2014 will extend certain government programs, such as Medicaid, to new income brackets. Furthermore, insurers will not be able to charge outrageous premiums or deny coverage based on existing health conditions.
Florida family law attorney Sandy T. Fox is committed to helping clients in the Miami Fort Lauderdale area resolve their family law matters. The Law Firm of Sandy T. Fox focuses exclusively on family law issues, including divorce, separation, child custody and maintenance, and alimony. To schedule your confidential consultation with experienced family law attorney Sandy T. Fox, please do not hesitate to call our law office toll free at (800) 596-0579 or contact us through our website.
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