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Women suffer loss of health care coverage after divorce

Healthcare issues are on the mind of many in Michigan, especially because of its prominence in the recent election. But a new study showed an interesting tie between divorce and healthcare. Over one million couples divorce yearly, and for over 100,000 women, this split might mean the end of health care coverage because many women get their coverage through their husband’s policy.

The study was conducted at the University of Michigan and discovered that following a divorce, not only do some women lose coverage, but their coverage can remain low for over two years. The researchers looked at women between the age of 26 and 64 over the course of 11 years.

After divorce, as many a 65,000 of the women in the study lost all health insurance because the stopped qualifying as a dependents. Others lost coverage because they can’t pay the premiums on a single income. Caught in the middle income level, these women don’t qualify for Medicaid either. Divorce can be hard financially and there simply may not be enough money for many women to pay for a policy, even if they had their own employer-based coverage prior to divorce.

Full-time work and more education seemed to prevent total loss of coverage after a divorce but sometimes women don’t have the option of full-time work, especially in this economy. And not all jobs provide the same level of benefits.

For families, and especially women, going through divorce, it is important to take health insurance into consideration. Working with a family law attorney through the process may help to lessen the stress of the situation and best prepare for the live after divorce.

Source: Red Orbit, “For Thousands of Women, Costs Of Divorce Include Health Coverage,” Alan McStravick, Nov. 13, 2012