How the Affordable Care Act and divorce are related

The Affordable Care Act is on the minds of many Americans right now, as it is the main reason behind this week’s government shutdown. But it is on the minds of some family law attorneys for entirely different reasons.

While the Affordable Care Act may not seem to have anything to do with family law, some family law professionals are predicting that the law could lead to an uptick in divorce filings in the United States.

The reason, they say, is that unhappy couples who were staying together only for health insurance coverage might now be able to split after finding affordable coverage on their own.

Currently, many spouses rely on the health care plans provided by one spouse’s employer. But when the marriage ends, the non-employee spouse is typically kicked off of the plan and must find his or her own coverage.

Individual health care plans are typically expensive, including COBRA coverage. So expensive, in some situations, that the couple decides to stay together just to continue coverage for both spouses.

That’s where the Affordable Care Act comes in. Ultimately, the purpose of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is often called, is to provide less expensive options for private health insurance plans.

Therefore, some family law experts say that Obamacare could cause some couples to file for divorce instead of remaining married or separated. The public was able to start looking for affordable private health care insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act this week.

If you are going through a divorce, make sure to have a health insurance plan in place. Going without health care insurance, even for a short amount of time, is a risk that can have expensive consequences.

Source: Financial Planning, “Divorce Wave to Follow Obamacare Rollout?” Janice Fiorvante, Sept. 30, 2013

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