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Health Insurance and Your Divorce

A frequent issue that arises in the context of a divorce is the question of health benefits. This issue can be acute when a long-term marriage dissolves, as a person previously covered under an employment plan offered by their spouse's employer generally comes to find that the 18-month continuation of COBRA benefits is so costly as to be prohibitive. Compounding the difficulties for the older divorcing client is the problem of insurance underwriting on policies for those who are sailing headlong through middle age - the underwriters are overly picky, and the product that is offered is expensive. In that instance, a regular market based policy solution (if available at all) is as financially out of reach as the COBRA benefit.

While the ACA may bring some relief on this front for both spouses in the midst of a dissolution of a long term marriage, in the near term, it is best to anticipate that the insurance market mechanisms will continue to confound smart solutions to the issue of medical care for the middle aged. In Kentucky, this is a somewhat more acute problem than it is in other states, as there are fewer high skill/professional jobs that provide benefits to men and women alike. This can seriously impact the health and well being of women past childbearing years, inasmuch as there are serious impediments to finding and funding decent coverage.

These issues cannot be left to chance; omitted issues of health coverage can impact maintenance and could be used as justification to reopen a divorce case previously thought resolved.