There has been a lot of discussion recently about the increase in divorces for those over fifty. Recent changes in healthcare laws could prove to be a benefit to some divorcing spouses that are dropped from a spouse’s health plan as a result of a divorce. A study last year found that as many as 115,000 women lose health coverage every year as a result of a divorce. Many of these women are unable to quickly regain coverage.
Health insurance woes in the wake of a “gray divorce” can serve to complicate retirement considerations. In addition, some people have chosen to wait until they qualify for Medicare at age 65 before they finalize a divorce.
All this has changed with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare. Under the ACA, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to individuals, or charge them more, due to pre-existing conditions. These changes in health care law may also have an impact on alimony considerations in a divorce. The ACA will make alimony calculations easier because the parties and their attorneys can now comparison-shop for health care coverage on the insurance exchanges that have been set up as part of the law.
Older divorcing couples may find that healthcare issues can affect the negotiations and agreements during a divorce. The good news about the ACA is that it gives a spouse who previously depended on the other spouse for health insurance a chance to move on in life without worrying about health care costs.
Source: Market Watch, “Obamacare could ease divorce’s financial sting,” Elizabeth O’Brien, Sept. 25, 2013