For many Texas couples, finances are one of the biggest barriers to a divorce. A divorce can be expensive. Plus, those who don't have a job often get their health benefits from the working spouse. In the past, health insurance was a costly expense, so many people took a risk and went without it after a divorce. However, with the Affordable Care Act coming into play, this barrier may soon be removed.
Annually, close to 115,000 women lose their health care insurance after a divorce. After six months, 25 percent of these women are still without insurance - and these women are considered middle class. This is because women who are considered weathly can buy their own insurance, while low-income women have access to government insurance programs, such as Medicaid.
With the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare - health care will become available to everyone. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, spouses can rest assured that they and their children have medical insurance in case the unforeseeable happens. Medicaid is also expected to expand, allowing more people to become eligible to receive this benefit. With health care suddenly more accessible than ever, this may open the door to more divorces.
However, there could be battles over alimony, since it covers health care. Will it result in a lower payment? If not, what level of health care will a person be expected to pay an ex-spouse? There will likely need to be guidelines created to help divorcing couples understand what to expect.
There will be many questions about how the Affordable Care Act will affect divorce starting next year. Those who have questions about their eligibility and benefits may find speaking to a financial or legal advisor highly beneficial. It's always a good idea to be financially prepared in the event of a divorce. Those without a job need to ensure their rights are protected.
The Washington Times, "Divorce could be side effect of Obamacare's healthcare reform" Myra Fleischer, Oct. 08, 2013