Most Texans may know someone who has decided to stay in an unhappy marriage for the sole reason of protecting their access to health insurance. According to some family law attorneys, the Affordable Care Act may now be making it easier for such individuals to leave their marriages and avoid being hampered by such obstacles. In previous years, divorcing couples sometimes fought over continued insurance coverage, forcing one party to make some significant concession in order to ensure availability of their needed medical treatments. With ACA, these considerations may no longer be applicable in all cases.
One attorney from a Philadelphia law firm says that she was once involved in a divorce case wherein the man had obtained health insurance through his wife’s employment. As part of their separation agreement, the wife agreed to stay married for eight years in order to avoid interrupting that coverage. In addition, had she chosen to remarry within that time period, she would have to continue providing him that insurance. While this may seem like a significant concession on the part of the woman, the man’s attorney says that he made a number of concessions of his own because he could not afford to go without insurance.
Deciding on the continued availability of insurance coverage after a divorce can be difficult. While some may believe that someone is entitled to their spouse’s insurance coverage only as long as they’re married, this may not lead to an equitable outcome in cases in which, for instance, both spouses agreed that one of them would stay home and take care of their children.
Moreover, it may not be easy for a separating couple to negotiate the terms of their insurance coverage on their own. Such plans, as well as those for alimony, child support and other considerations, may require some amount of evaluation of the assets and liabilities of both parties in order to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.
Source: Philly.com, “Insurance no longer may hinder divorce“, Robert Calandra, March 03, 2014