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The Effect of Divorce on Health Coverage for Women

You have likely already heard that many women lose health insurance after divorce. But more studies have been done recently that show the impact of that statistic. In fact, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that about 115,000 women every year lose their health insurance due to divorce. More than half of them are uninsured for years afterward. Take a look at some of the other findings and how they affect many women.

The Facts

About one quarter of women have insurance through a family member, often a husband. If you estimate that about half of marriages end in divorce, you can see how many women are likely to lose coverage when they get divorced. Some women negotiate with their ex to pay for their health needs after the divorce, but they often have to give up something else, such as the house, in return for their health. Not every woman is willing to do this, nor do many men agree to it, especially since divorced couples cannot share insurance coverage.

Women with full-time jobs are often offered insurance coverage, but they tend to decline it at a higher rate than men do. This is likely because they usually prefer their husband’s plan, since they may expect it to be better. Even if they can get on their own employer’s plan after the divorce, sometimes they cannot afford the premiums, so they simply go without insurance.

The Consequences

Studies show that even two years after divorce, many women still do not get insurance. The result is that they ignore health problems, allowing them to get worse with time. They usually skip regular checkups, allowing their health to suffer. Many are just happy their children have insurance, usually through the father, so they do not have to neglect their health like mothers often do.

For many people, divorce can be stressful, even when it’s for the best. Of course, those who obtain counseling, get a good lawyer, and try to keep a healthy outlook on the divorce can often overcome the stress and avoid health problems. But this is not the case for everyone, so some people notice their health suffering as a result of the stress.

If you do not have health insurance through your spouse anymore, and either do not work or cannot afford it through your job, you can look into getting coverage through your state. The number of women on Medicaid after divorce is double the amount before it, so a lot of divorced women turn to this option. In addition, if you are in a position to negotiate with your ex, you can work out a plan that ensures you can afford to take care of your medical expenses.

You will need an experienced lawyer for this task, especially if you and your ex are not on good speaking terms. At Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C., we can take a look at your needs and figure out how to fulfill them. Call today so we can go over your case.

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