ACA helps take health insurance issue out of divorce

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Divorce on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Going through the process of getting a divorce can involve many difficulties and life changes. Now, Illinois residents looking to get a divorce may have one less barrier standing in their way.

Before the Affordable Care Act became effective on Jan. 1, obtaining health insurance was often tied to employment benefits. When only one spouse in a married couple was working, there was a very real fear that after a divorce, it would be difficult to re-enter the workforce after being out for a long time. This, in turn, meant that it would be difficult to get health insurance after a divorce. While individuals could find coverage, it was usually expensive and not very reliable. Coupled with a pre-existing condition or being over the age of 50, it could be nearly impossible to be covered after a divorce.

Because of this, health insurance was often used by one spouse to gain the upper hand in divorce negotiations with the other. The spouse who would be left without insurance after the divorce would often concede on other issues in order to get post-divorce financial help with health care. Additionally, many couples actually stayed together when they would have otherwise filed for divorce simply to stay insured. Now that pre-existing conditions are no longer an impediment to obtaining coverage within the new health care marketplace, divorce will no longer be held back because of these issues.

This can be helpful for couples who are unhappy in their marriages, but it is only one of many issues that can come up in a divorce. An experienced family law attorney may be helpful to divorcing couples exploring these matters. An attorney could help ensure that each spouse sees a fair outcome in the divorce agreement.

Source:, “Insurance no longer may hinder divorce“, Robert Calandra, March 03, 2014