Concerns Over Health Care Coverage After a Divorce?

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When people begin to consider divorce, they find often find that a simple proposition — ending a marriage — often consists of a wide variety of difficult decisions regarding children, finances, changing residences, property division and much more.

One of the challenges for many St. Louis women considering, or going through a divorce, is to figure out ways to cope with the possible loss of private health insurance. According to a recent study, each year more than 100,000 women lose their health insurance coverage following a divorce.

The loss of coverage is often not a temporary one: the overall rate of health insurance coverage for women remains diminished for more than two years in the wake of a divorce.

“Given that approximately one million divorces occur each year in the U.S., and that many women get health coverage through their husbands, the impact is quite substantial,” said the lead author of the study, which appears in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

The study analyzed data from women between the ages of 26 and 64 and compiled from 1996 through 2007.

The study also showed:

65,000: that’s how many divorced women lose all health insurance benefits after a divorce. Many of them are no longer qualified to be dependents on their husbands’ insurance policies; others can’t afford insurance premiums on their own. Unfortunately, many don’t qualify for Medicaid or other public assistance, despite their financial troubles.

25 percent: approximately one-quarter of women who were insured as dependents on their husbands’ policies are uninsured half a year after divorcing.

11 percent: this is the percentage of women who have their own work-based insurance but lose coverage anyway, because their financial difficulties render them unable to pay their share of the cost of premiums.

“Women in moderate-income families face the greatest loss of insurance coverage,” said the author of the study. “They are more likely than higher-income women to lose private coverage and they have less access than lower-income women to public safety-net insurance programs.”

Clearly, this is an issue for women and men to consider as they ponder a possible divorce. An experienced family law attorney can help sort through the many legal issues in divorce, including financial settlements.

Source: Science Codex, “Divorce costs thousands of women health coverage,” Nov. 12, 2012

  • Our Missouri firm represents clients in family law matters. For more information, please visit our St. Louis divorce page.
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