New research shows that women are still more likely than men to lose health insurance after a divorce. In fact, according to the University of Michigan, nearly 16 percent of divorced women lose health insurance within the first six months of divorce. And most of those women don't find their own health insurance for at least two years.
There are multiple factors contributing to these statistics. First, some women rely on their husband's insurance plan during marriage and are unable to find their own health insurance shortly after divorce.
Second, the economic situation of many women becomes much more difficult after divorce. Many women find themselves as custodial parents, unable to maintain the lifestyle they once led. They may also find they have to cut expenses wherever possible. Health insurance may be one of the first things to go.
Maintaining Health Insurance After Divorce
Anyone going through a divorce should consider all of the financial aspects and potential impacts of the divorce. How will the divorce affect your standard of living? How will you provide for yourself and, if applicable, your children?
During child support discussions, you will have a chance to negotiate for health insurance for your children. Yet, while some states provide Medicaid for parents who are low-income earners, there is little to no coverage for divorcees without children or with moderate levels of income. Instead, federal law allows individuals to receive coverage under COBRA after a divorce.
At our law firm, we believe there are always solutions. For example, it may be possible to ask your ex-spouse to pay for post-divorce insurance premiums through your divorce settlement. Health insurance may also be included as part of a prenuptial agreement.
Divorce leads to significant financial change, but with the right legal and financial help, it can be less stressful and much more manageable.
Source: Public Radio International, "Research shows after divorce, women more likely than men to lose health insurance," Feb. 17, 2012.